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Moloch (1999)
"Molokh" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  13 October 1999 (France)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 1,491 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 17 critic

In 1942, in Bavaria, Eva Braun is alone, when Adolf Hitler arrives with Dr. Josef Goebbels and his wife Magda Goebbels and Martin Bormann to spend a couple of days without talking politics.

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Title: Moloch (1999)

Moloch (1999) on IMDb 6.8/10

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Cast

Credited cast:
Elena Rufanova ...
Leonid Mozgovoy ...
Irina Sokolova ...
Dr. Josef Goebbels (as Leonid Sokol)
Yelena Spiridonova ...
Vladimir Bogdanov ...
Anatoli Shvedersky ...
Priest
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Natalya Nikulenko
Rosina Tsidulko
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Storyline

In 1942, in Bavaria, Eva Braun is alone, when Adolf Hitler arrives with Dr. Josef Goebbels and his wife Magda Goebbels and Martin Bormann to spend a couple of days without talking politics.

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Drama

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Release Date:

13 October 1999 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Moloch  »

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1.66 : 1
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Featured in Cinemania: I anodos kai i ptosi tou Nazismou (2008) See more »

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Von Finnland bis zum Schwarzen Meer
By Norbert Schultze
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User Reviews

 
Aleksandr Sokurov Examines the Mind of Hitler: A Study of Insanity
29 November 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

MOLOCH (translated as 'a demon in the shape of a man') is a film that shows yet another aspect of Aleksandr Sokurov's approach to film-making. As in his splendid 'Russian Ark', 'Mother and Son', and 'Father and Son' he manages to say more in his silences and interplay of his characters with nature and their environments that in his spare scripts (this script is by Yuri Arabov and Marina Koreneva). His movement is slow, like an adagio, his eye is constantly on symbolism and irony, and his filming/camera technique is always experimental. Given these factors 'MOLOCH' is a fine example of how Sokurov works his magic: whether or not the viewer will relate to this bizarre film depends on how willing one is to enter Sokurov's vision. This film about Hitler is very much a Russian product and given the history of the relationship between Russia and Germany, that fact is necessary to know.

1942, in a fortress in the clouds of Bavaria, we find Eva Braun (Yelena Rufanova) cavorting balletically both inside the foreboding stone 'dungeon' and out on the dangerous parapets. She is visited by a strange entourage: Hitler (Leonid Mozgovoy), Dr. and Mrs. Goebbels (Leonid Sokol and Yelena Spiridonova), Martin Boorman (Vladimir Bogdanov), and a priest (Anatoli Shvedersky). The action takes place in a single day and during this time the actual war is not discussed. We are to understand this is a retreat for relaxation, but as we get to know the characters we find that many hints of the evil and insane minds of all of them. They talk: Auschwitz is mentioned and Hitler apparently has never heard of it; Hitler pontificates on power; the Goebbels demonstrate their abject worship of Hitler; Eva Braun is the sassy journalist who is the only one who can talk back to Hitler, teasing, seducing and acquiescing to his inability to demonstrate intimacy. They dine (Hitler's vegetarian mentality deplores the 'corporal soup' his dinner partners devour), they watch old grainy black and white news clips of war machines, new tanks, soldiers, and oddly a performance of Beethoven's 9th Symphony with Knappertsbusch conducting. Then the guests retire, and Hitler is joined by Eva Braun in a bizarre boudoir scene. In the morning the entourage leaves and Eva remains, retuning to her strange world of dancing through the fortress.

Throughout the film the music is that of Wagner - Siegfried's Funeral Music, and other passages from 'Die Götterdämmerung' (Twilight of the Gods!) accompanied by some banter about Furtwangler and Bruno Walter as well as Knappertsbusch. The acting is somewhat stylized which adds to the bizarre mood the story creates. In the final analysis this appears to be Sokurov's image of a mind gone mad with power and visions of immortality and it is only at the very end when Eva Braun whispers that he cannot defeat death that there is a moment of vulnerability in the historical Hitler.

This is a slow moving 108 minutes of film and not for everyone's taste, but if you are an admirer of Aleksandr Sokurov it is a mesmerizing journey through the cerebral passages of one of history's worst molochs. Grady Harp


31 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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