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419 Ratings

Francofonia: Le Louvre Under German Occupation

Francofonia, le Louvre sous l’Occupation

Directed by Aleksandr Sokurov
France, Germany, 2015
History, Drama


Jacques Jaujard and Count Metternich worked together to protect and preserve the treasure of the Louvre Museum during WWII. Alexander Sokurov tells their story and explores the relationship between art and power, using a spectacular staging of the artworks, reconstitution, archives and testimonies.

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Francofonia: Le Louvre Under German Occupation Directed by Aleksandr Sokurov
Though there are dramatised sequences with actors playing the central parts, this is foremost an essay film that attempts (and largely succeeds) in placing this tale of administrative derring do into a wider cultural context. Like much of Sokoruv’s work, this film looks to the ugly corners of life and history and locates profound bitter, beauty.
November 11, 2016
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Compared to [Sokurov’s] masterpiece Russian Ark (2002), which distilled three centuries of Russian history into one spectacular, uninterrupted take of the Russian State Hermitage Museum, this is disjointed and dreary, its power diluted by Sokurov’s constant, self-important narration. In one scene Napoleon (Vincent Nemeth) glowers at the Mona Lisa and declares “It’s me!” Unfortunately, Sokurov’s point—that ego is the enemy of art and society—is diminished by the film’s own pretentiousness.
May 05, 2016
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[Sokurov] has put nothing less than his whole self into this film. If you watch it, he will demand nothing less of you. And it’s worth the effort, because his theme this time is the cruelty of greatness itself: the terrifying, age-old alliance of art and power, and the crushing distance of both from the lives of those who serve them.
April 06, 2016
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