19 user 70 critic

Aleksandra (2007)

Not Rated | | Drama, War | 26 September 2007 (France)
4:00 | Clip
An elderly woman takes a train trip to visit her grandson at his army camp inside Chechnya.


2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Otets i syn (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A father and his son live together in a roof-top apartment. They have lived alone for years in their own private world, full of memories and daily rites. Sometimes they seem like brothers. ... See full summary »

Director: Aleksandr Sokurov
Stars: Andrei Shchetinin, Aleksei Neymyshev, Aleksandr Razbash
Solntse (2005)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Third part in Aleksandr Sokurov's quadrilogy of Power, 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 General Douglas MacArthur who offers him to accept a diplomatic defeat for survival.

Director: Aleksandr Sokurov
Stars: Issei Ogata, Robert Dawson, Kaori Momoi
Taurus (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Joseph Stalin (Sergei Razhuk) visits ailing Russian leader Vladimir Lenin (Leonid Mozgovoy) in 1923.

Director: Aleksandr Sokurov
Stars: Leonid Mozgovoy, Mariya Kuznetsova, Sergey Razhuk
Faust III (2011)
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A despairing scholar sells his soul to Satan in exchange for one night with a beautiful young woman.

Director: Aleksandr Sokurov
Stars: Johannes Zeiler, Anton Adasinsky, Isolda Dychauk
Moloch (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

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.

Director: Aleksandr Sokurov
Stars: Elena Rufanova, Leonid Mozgovoy, Irina Sokolova
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A slow and poignant story of love and patience told via a dying mother nursed by her devoted son. The simple narrative is a thread woven among the deeply spiritual images of the countryside... See full summary »

Director: Aleksandr Sokurov
Stars: Aleksei Ananishnov, Gudrun Geyer
Documentary | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

From a misty night into the dark exposition rooms of a museum to ponder philosophically at paintings by 'Pieter Jansz Saenredam', 'Hercules Pieterszoon Seghers', Hendrikus van de Sande ... See full summary »

Director: Aleksandr Sokurov
Stars: Aleksandr Sokurov
Drama | Fantasy | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A 19th century French aristocrat, notorious for his scathing memoirs about life in Russia, travels through the Russian State Hermitage Museum and encounters historical figures from the last 200+ years.

Director: Aleksandr Sokurov
Stars: Sergey Dreyden, Mariya Kuznetsova, Leonid Mozgovoy
Kamen (1992)
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A caretaker encounters Anton Chekov and spends a lonely night and day in his company.

Director: Aleksandr Sokurov
Stars: Pyotr Aleksandrov, Leonid Mozgovoy
Krug vtoroy (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A man tries to come to terms with his father's death and to deal with the mundane details of his burial in a society cut off from spirituality.

Director: Aleksandr Sokurov
Stars: Pyotr Aleksandrov, Nadezhda Rodnova, Tamara Timofeeva
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Family and friends gather in a decadent house to party. Despite their delusive distinction a raw passion for sex and violence comes to light.

Director: Aleksandr Sokurov
Stars: Ramaz Chkhikvadze, Alla Osipenko, Irina Sokolova
Dni zatmeniya (1988)
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Days of Eclipse is filmed in a psychedelic manner close to stream of consciousness using unusual cinematographic techniques. The action is set in Middle Asia.

Director: Aleksandr Sokurov
Stars: Aleksei Ananishnov, Eskender Umarov, Irina Sokolova


Credited cast:
Aleksandra Nikolaevna
Vasily Shevtsov ...
Raisa Gichaeva ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Andrei Bogdanov
Sultan Dokaev
Aleksandr Kladko
Aleksei Neymyshev
Rustam Shakhgireev


An elderly woman takes a train trip to visit her grandson at his army camp inside Chechnya.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | War


Not Rated | See all certifications »


Official Sites:





Release Date:

26 September 2007 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Alexandra  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


(A 54:24) In Malika's house, Malika invites Alexandra to take her jacket off. Alexandra does so laboriously. 20 seconds later she's suddenly wearing it again, and works her way out of it once more. See more »


Featured in Sokurovin ääni (2014) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Kindness in the face of Cruelty
10 July 2008 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Aleksandra (2008) ****

As one of the least discussed modern conflicts, it's not unsurprising that the Chechen War has rarely been covered on film, certainly not in such a profound and visceral manner as depicted in Aleksandra. Aleksander Sokurov, the visionary helmer of The Russian Ark, turns an ugly conflict into a moving and gentle experience.

The aging Aleksandra is granted a trip to visit her grandson, an officer in the Russian Chechen campaign, at his station post in the heart of Chechnya. She takes the train with other soldiers, and upon arrival is driven to the base in an armoured vehicle. There she waits for her grandson to return during the night. He arrives through the night as she sleeps, and in the morning takes her on a tour of the camp: showing her the vehicles, the tents, the guns. When he is away, Aleksandra curiously explores the base on her own, talking without intimidation with the other soldiers. She gives them meat pies, and the comforts of a mother figure in a world of testosterone, blood, and fear.

This film is one of sensations, of atmosphere. You feel the heat of the dry Chechen landscape (it appears to have been shot in and around Grozny). You feel the tension of hatreds engrained in the psyche of both the Russians and the Chechens. You feel the dirt and the grime of the Russian base, and its intimidating and archaic structure. It is a labyrinth of tents, wood, and barbed wire. It is a rightful character in itself. You feel the oddity of seeing an aged and soft bodied woman, looking as a saint among sinners in that craggy landscape.

The entire mood of the film is oddly affecting. Despite its gentle story, it expresses an unstated sense of menace. This is a troubled land, filled with unseen terror – the undercurrents of tension are palpable. And yet, old Aleksandra shows no fear. Not in the face of the shockingly young Russian soldiers who try to disobey her to go here or there, only to end up following her commands. And not in the face of angry Chechens in the market, to where she goes off alone. Indeed, it is in that market that one of the most rewarding sections of the film takes place. Aleksandra, shunned by a young Chechen man because she is Russian, is welcomed by an older Chechen woman, much like herself. Among this woman and her friends, Aleksandra forms a bond that transcends hatred, and reaches towards nothing more than humanity and compassion.

Aleksandra is more than just a war film, or even a film about war. The only shot fired in the film is by Aleksandra herself – an empty chamber in an AK-47, shown to her by her grandson. This is a film about human convictions, and inevitabilities. Why is she even here? The grandson's commanding officer asides that usually he brings girls to visit him, but this time he's oddly requested his grandmother. He knows it is inevitable that he will likely die in this war, just as she confides that her time is invariably near. But the film also makes it clear that not everything is doomed to inevitability. Hate does not have to be manifest. It is a product of unnecessary cruelty and unfairness.

Sokurov takes no obvious stance on either the side of the Chechens or the Russians, and so I will not invoke any clear reference here – other than to simply point out that those with a working knowledge of the foundations for the ongoing conflict should have by now found it obvious who holds the majority of blame for this hell.

This is a small story, and a concept not unfamiliar. What heightens a simple parable into grandeur, though, is execution. Sokurov is a visionary, and his eye for visceral storytelling through sound and image to create the perfect mood is a marvellous example of what the art of film-making is all about. This film has the heart, the soul, and the wisdom necessary to reach that level of grandeur. This is a great and profound film.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: