Critic Reviews



Based on 25 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Aleksandr Sokurov's Francofonia is rich, complex, challenging.
Francofonia is a chatty and occasionally brilliant rumination on art, history and death.
Francofonia is a fascinating essay and meditation on art, history and humanity's idea of itself.
The mood's often as fun as it is funereal, and though the film occasionally feels clever in a way that isn't necessarily a compliment, Sokurov's ideas have a philosophical depth and richness that are found almost nowhere else in cinema.
Skipping across ages and genres, this cine-essay beguilement from Russian Ark director Alexander Sokurov considers the Louvre - and the miracle of the transmission of art and culture across its history.
Slant Magazine
For all its congratulatory spirit, the film has the persistent feeling of an elegy bidding adieu to a bygone time.
The subject of Francofonia is art as the spoils of war, and the example he gives is the period when the Louvre - called at one point “the capital of the world” - came under Nazi control. Making the barest hint about the destruction of historic artworks in Syria at the hands of ISIS, Sokurov gently reminds the viewer why all this is terribly relevant today.
Does it all come together? Well, yes, if viewers think of the film as a freewheeling poetic essay, highly personal yet captivating.
When I first saw the movie, at a festival, it wavered on the brink of the precious. That changed on a second viewing. Most of Francofonia now seems tender, stirring, and imperilled.
Less fluid than "Russian Ark," Francofonia is even harder to pigeonhole, which is something of a feat.

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