Critic Consensus: At once ethereal and tangible, Aleksandr Sokurov's humane Chechen War drama features a spectacular turn by opera star Galina Vishnevskay.
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Critic Reviews for Alexandra
At least one critic has called this Sokurov's most political film, but on its deepest level it considers not a particular war but the complex feelings between mothers and the young men they send out into the world to kill or be killed.
It's also quietly challenging, in its own way, not least in its portrait of old age, its trials, new freedoms and the privilege of changing one's mind before it becomes too late.
Remarkable, how little Sokurov tells us, while telling us so much.
The film is built on a massive incongruity: Watching this octogenarian drag her little bent-up wheeled luggage cart, amid rolling tanks and military transport trucks, you're looking at two eternal verities%u2014war, and civilians caught up in its wake%u20
The sepia tones and the claustrophobic camerawork are instantly recognizable as Sokurov's work, and so is the emphasis on family intimacy.
Audience Reviews for Alexandra
Sokurov was a genius in his pieces on the Hermitage and the Japanese emperor. Here he takes us on a slow journey to prove that the Russians shouldn't be in Grozny. For once the master storytelling seems unable to make the compelling case.
[font=Century Gothic]Previously with "Russian Ark," Alexander Sokurov had given a cinematic tour of the Hermitage that served as a lesson on Russian history. With his latest film, "Alexandra," Sokurov again gives a guided tour, this time of an army base in occupied territory, seen through the eyes of Alexandra(Galina Vishnevskaya), who is visiting her grandson(Vasily Shevtsov), a captain in the army. As she wanders through the army camp, she is shocked at the state of the soldiers. On the one hand, warfare is nothing new to Russia.(Assuming she is at least 80, then she must remember World War II. There is a quick flashback to reinforce this notion...) But what may separate this conflict(Probably Chechnya...) is that it is fought so close to home against an enemy that while fighting for independence, many consider still part of the mother country. In the end, this is a touching call for peace and for the soldiers to return home safety(All of the characters suffer from loneliness to one degree or another.) while rejecting the comic possibilities of the premise by filming in faded color.(Think about it this way. How many soldiers or officers would not become a laughingstock if their grandmother came to visit?)[/font]