Third part in Aleksandr Sokurov's tetrology, following Moloch (1999) and Taurus (2001), focuses on Japanese Emperor Hirohito and Japan's defeat in World War II when he is finally confronted by Gen. Douglas MacArthur who offers him to accept a diplomatic defeat for survival.
The elderly Perpétua, feeling the approach of death, decides to prepare Zeca, her beloved grandson, to the inevitable. She tells him the story of a king and a queen, a wealthy and powerful ... See full summary »
Inspired by Flaubert's Madame Bovary, Sokurov's Save and Protect recalls the most crucial events of Emma's decline and fall, including affairs with an aristocratic and a student. Focusing ... See full summary »
This film, quite blatantly filmed with GREEN hues in a painterly fashion adhering to Sokurov's vision of 'the true cinema' is a slow and purposefully languid account of 2 days in the life of an ailing Lenin. Not set at the time of his death (as is often noted) it is - in accordance with the banal and random feeling associated with the way such power is given and then taken from great but fallible and flawed men - 2 days in 1922, two years before Lenin passed away and while he was essentially housebound, deeply ailing but not ready to relinquish his grasp on the turmoil he instigated in Russia. At this time he allegedly re wrote his will to say sorry for betraying the ideals of Russia and leading it into the horrors of communism. (This will has unfoundedly been claimed to have been stolen and kept from the Russian people). As Sokurov himself notes, the point of this film and 'Moloch', first part of this ostensible trilogy of great leaders (or monsters) of the twentieth century - Moloch being about Hitler) soon to be completed with a film about Hirohito, is that power can be given and taken arbitrarily and no matter how much they may protest to the contrary, they are elected leaders to speak for the people who took that trust and altered the course of history to highly detrimental effect.
The fetid and distressingly verdant atmosphere alludes to the dank, moldy presence that Lenin and all he stands for has become. Decaying, sodden and sluggish. To look on Lenin in this state after seeing what a profound - good or otherwise - effect he has had on history - is sobering indeed.
A highly intelligent film, slow for all the right reasons and with images and aural landscapes that stay with you long after the credits rolled.
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