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7.4
/10
1,275 Ratings

Faust

Directed by Aleksandr Sokurov
Russia, 2011
Drama
  • German
  • English

Synopsis

Departing sharply from Goethe’s version of the tale, Sokurov’s Faust inhabits an earthy, 19th-century world of primitive autopsies and medical rituals. He becomes obsessed with the beautiful Margarete and desperately turns to a physically grotesque moneylender to conjure their union.

Our take

The last piece in Russian director Alexander Sokurov’s “tetralogy of power,” a loose adaptation of Goethe’s masterwork, won the Golden Lion award in Venice. With distorted visuals and absurdist verve, Faust is a cinematic feat made of medical discoveries, philosophical musings and erratic passions.

Faust Directed by Aleksandr Sokurov
Two weeks removed from this screening and its majestic oddness still eludes me. If Taurus is Sokurov’s most straightforward film,Faust is at the opposite end of the spectrum, a slippery concoction whose visuals – alternating between show-stopping moments of clarity traceable to iconic European paintings and inebriated, claustrophobic trudges in soft-focus through damp, dark interiors – seem beamed from another world.
January 22, 2014
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FAUST, perhaps all at once [Sokurov’s] most Tarkovskian feature and the one that works hardest to undermine his master’s work, Sokurov’s powers are at their height. FAUST, perhaps all at once his most Tarkovskian feature and the one that works hardest to undermine his master’s work, Sokurov’s powers are at their height.
December 20, 2013
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Faust is an infinitely complex film toward a search to the failure of human nature’s desire for knowledge that does not define great men, but all of us. “Good does not exist, but evil does,” a character warns the Herr Doktor. Such trifles toward the search to comprehending the heavens within the language below it can only lead us to our useless search through the desert. Knowledge is nothing without the faith to believe it.
November 28, 2013
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