#123movies #fmovies #putlocker #gomovies #solarmovie #soap2day Watch Full Movie Online Free – An elderly woman takes a train trip to visit her grandson at his army camp inside Chechnya.
Plot: Elderly Aleksandra visits her Russian soldier grandson, Denis, at the Chechen war front, providing comfort as she tours his army. All the while, Denis ponders the reason for her unexpected appearance.
Smart Tags: #russia #character_name_as_title #forename_as_title #one_word_title #chechnya #uniform #soldier #chechen_war #russian_military #grandmother_grandson_relationship #old_woman #cult_director #based_on_true_story
|6.8/10 Votes: 2,641|
|6.4 Votes: 30 Popularity: 2.817|
Another deep meditation from the Russian master
Shot in and around Grozny in a characteristic lightened brownish monochrome by cinematographer Alexander Burov (of ‘Father and Son’), this new addition to the Russian’s studies of family relationships uses the spectacle of a powerful old woman (Galina Vishnevskaya) visiting her grandson at an army camp near the Chechnan front as an opportunity to ponder youth and age, family hierarchies, and the motivations and aftereffects of war.
These are themes that emerge, but Sokurov’s hypnotic intensity of focus keeps the action specific. There are no great events. The film depicts soldiers at the front during a long war, but there are no shots fired, no corpses, no violence among the soldiers.Alexandra Nikolaevich (her name parallels the director’s) has a will of her own. Her manner is commanding but not aggressive; there is no preening about her, only a quiet dignity. She can’t sleep, and wanders around on her own, casting off minders, talking to her grandson, to the sometimes ridiculously young soldiers. At first she gets into a tank. She handles and pulls the trigger of a kalashnikov her grandson shows her. She is bothered by the smells: the place is 100 degrees in the daytime. It seems Alexandra is in a place where one can walk back and forth between “enemies,” and the next day she goes outside the camp to a nearby market where Chechnans sell to the soldiers. A woman who speaks good Russian (she says she was a schoolteacher) invites Alexandra to her apartment (all the buildings are battered: it could be Bosnia; it could be Beirut) and gives her tea. A young Caucasian man who takes her back to the checkpoint says, “why don’t you let us be free?” “If only it was that simple,” she answers.
Sokurov’s last film was about the great cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich and his wife, this same Vishnevskaya, a legendary opera singer. It was Rostropovich who persuaded Sokurov to work in opera (on a production of ‘Boris Godunov’). This new film was entirely inspired by Visnevskaya.
“(‘Alexandra’),” Sokurov has said in an interview, “is a film about the ability of people to understand each other, about all that is best in a person. It is about people and the fact that the main thing for people is other people and that there are no greater values than kindness, understanding and human warmth. As long as a person lives, there is always a chance to correct mistakes and become a better person.” The film moves slowly and ends when Denis (Vasily Shevtsov), the grandson, a captain, and a good soldier, has to go off on a five-day mission, and she’s taken back to the train to return home.
The power of ‘Alexandra’ grows out of its basic setup: Vishnevskaya’s dignity and authority are a match for a whole army camp. She is, of course, in a sense Mother Russia, and these are her children. Sokurov protests that this film is in no sense political, and I think we should respect that intention and not read pro-Russian or anti-war or other too bluntly political or historical messages into it. In the same way, ‘The Sun’ is hardly a statement about Japan’s monarchy or about World War II. Sokurov, a deliberately difficult and independent auteur capable of masterpieces, asks his viewer to observe and ponder, not to draw quick conclusions. It’s true; sometimes his soul is so big we float around in his films a little lost. But not with Alexandra, with her sore legs, her shawl, and her long plaited hair. Her feet are on the ground. Alexandra is calming and sobering, and gives hope.
Most Americans Will Find Alexandra Dull, But If You Have Any Patience For Allegory, This Film Is Worth Your Time.
In the 1976 comedy Love And Death, Woody Allen finds himself conscripted into the Russian Army about to fight Napoleon’s invading French forces. While in basic training, a stern drill sergeant tries to explain the reality of things to the peasant soldiers who will soon shed their blood for Mother Russia.
Drill Sergeant – If they kill more Russians, they win. If we kill more Frenchmen, we win.
Woody What do we win?
This line always gets a laugh (and would be well worth asking any time WE feel the need to go to war), so why did that question come to mind after seeing Alexander Sokurov’s breathtaking film Alexandra? I’ll come to that momentarily.
Alexandra is a film of deceptive simplicity. An older grandmother comes to a remote military base to visit her 27-year-old grand son who is a captain. While there, she is treated as an honored guest, almost like a beloved mascot and she gets to meet many different soldier boys as well as some of the locals who live in the destroyed towns around the base.
Described this way, it would be hard to justify to your friends why you want to see a film about an old Babushka groaning around a military base always complaining about the heat for 95 minutes, but then you are not considering the surprises in store from the great Russian director Alexander Sokurov who has been described as a Russian David Lynch, but I think this is mistaken.
If you must pigeonhole Sokurov, he has more in common with Gus Van Sant in his experimental mode with films like Last Days, Elephant and the recent Paranoid Park. Like Van Sant, Sokurov’s films have seemingly straightforward narratives, but are then made brilliant by an unconventional way of telling the actual story as well as a utilizing unique ways of manipulating sound and image.
What ultimately happens if you allow yourself to be seduced by the film, is the whole thing becomes an allegorical examination of the Russian soul and a meditation on why they often find themselves in no-win situations like Chechnya, which Alexandra is clearly about.
But there are many things that I, as an American may not appreciate fully. For example, the solemn type of poetic love that Russians have for their mothers that is evident in everything from their literature to their music to their theater, (Americans loves their mothers too, but it is a bit different).
I also can’t fully understand the helpless feeling they have of being a “former” world power that finds itself bogged down in a country it could have once blown right off the map, but can now do nothing. (Don’t worry; America could get there yet if we don’t stop these Neo-Con morons with their selfish pursuits disguised as patriotism.)
Then there is the casting of the film. The soldiers are all well played by handsome young actors with sweet, youthful faces, but it is the solid presence of Galina Vishnevskaya as Alexandra that holds this film together. I have read she was a well-known opera singer in Russia and considered a national treasure, although I was not familiar with her before this film.
Considering what Galina Vishnevskaya had to do; literally embody Mother Russia as a concept while never ever losing her humanity, her performance is wonderfully understated, yet never less than powerful and compelling.
It won’t happen, but if Daniel Day Lewis can get an Oscar for grossly over-playing an evil oilman in There Will Be Blood, I hope Galina Vishnevskaya can at least get an Oscar nomination for portraying the historical soul of a nation all the while making her human and understandable.
It is rare that films ever tackle things allegorically. That is usually reserved for the theatrics of the stage or the interior realms of the mind in a novel. Even if it were something that could be done more often, most Americans would not accept it.
The American style of story telling is straightforward and blunt; whereas allegory relies on symbolism, and a transubstantiation of ideas and concepts into dramatic characters and situations.
To many people, this all feels like trickery and they remain closed off to the richness of allegory, especially in the arts. Yet, crazily enough, they have no trouble accepting it every Sunday in church where Christians by the thousands believe that ordinary wine and bread get turned into the Blood and Bone of Christ.
It really doesn’t happen folks, (except symbolically) or that would make you cannibals. So if you can accept that kind of symbolic allegory and transmutation of concepts in church, it requires only a little bit more imagination to accept it in a film. Please try. You don’t know what you’re missing.
Getting back to my opening citation of Love And Death and why Alexandra made me think of it, well, at the end of the film, as Alexandra is on her way back home, she looks at the passing Chechen countryside through the door of her train.
It is dry, hot, and pretty much a wasteland. Yet, this is the very land the Chechens are more than willing to die for and really, what possible use could it be for the Russians?
I hope Alexandra is considering Woody Allen’s surprisingly simple, yet devastating question, after all the terror, all the horror and all the killing is over, “What do we win?”
It turns out the answer is rolling right past Alexandra’s eyes, outside the train door.
Original Language ru
Runtime 1 hr 35 min (95 min)
Rated Not Rated
Genre Drama, War
Director Aleksandr Sokurov
Writer Aleksandr Sokurov
Actors Galina Vishnevskaya, Vasily Shevtsov, Raisa Gichaeva
Country Russia, France
Awards 3 wins & 9 nominations
Production Company N/A
Sound Mix Dolby Digital
Aspect Ratio 1.85 : 1
Laboratory Mosfilm, Moscow, Russia
Film Length 2,600 m (Portugal, 35 mm)
Negative Format 35 mm (Kodak)
Cinematographic Process Digital Intermediate (master format), Spherical (source format)
Printed Film Format 35 mm