Faust is the final installment of Alexander Sokurov’s cinematic tetralogy on the nature of power. The main characters in the first three films are real historical figures: Adolf Hitler (Moloch), Vladimir Lenin (Taurus), and Emperor Hirohito (The Sun). The symbolic image of Faust completes this series of great gamblers who lost the most important wagers of their lives. Faust is seemingly out of place in this portrait gallery, an almost museumesque literary character framed by a simple plot. What does he have in common with these real figures who ascended to the pinnacle of power? A love of words that are easy to believe and pathological unhappiness in everyday life. Evil is reproducible, and Goethe formulated its essence: “Unhappy people are dangerous.” Sokurov’s Faust is not a film adaptation of Goethe’s tragedy in the usual sense, but a reading of what remains between the lines.
Golden Lion | Venice IFF, Italy, 2011
CAST & CREW
Director of Photography
Johannes Zeiler, Anton Adasinskiy, Isolda Dychauk, Georg Friedrich, Hanna Schygulla, Antje Lewald, Florian Bruckner, Sigurdur Skulasson, Maxim Mehmet
Born 1951, Podorvikha, Irkutsk Oblast, Russia. After graduating from high school in 1968 he entered Gorky University (Department of History). While a student he began working as a staff member for the Gorky television. In 1975-79 Sokurov studied in the Director's Department at the Moscow All-Union State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK). His first feature film The Lonely Voice of a Man was highly appreciated by director Andrei Tarkovsky and later received a number of awards. Sokurov was employed by the Lenfilm Studio in 1980. At the same time he started working at the Leningrad Studio for Documentary Films, where he has made his documentaries. Alexander Sokurov acts very often not only as a director, but also as a screenwriter and director of photography in his projects. He has received many Russian and international awards. The European Film Academy listed Sokurov among the Best 100 directors of the world cinema. In 2005 his film Sun won Grand Prix at the Golden Apricot IFF.
The Lonely Voice of Man (1978-87), Maria (1978-88), Sonata for Hitler (1979-89), The Degraded (1980), Sonata for Viola. Dmitriy Shostakovitch (1981), And Nothing More (1982-87), Painful Indifference (1983-87), Evening Sacrifice (1984-87), Patience Labour (1985-87), Elegy (1986), Empire (1986), Moscow Elegy (1986-88), Days of Eclipse (1988), Save and Protect (1989), Soviet Elegy (1989), Petersburg Elegy (1990), To the Events in Transcaucasia. Newsreel No. 5, Special Issue (1990), A Simple Elegy (1990), The Second Circle (1990), Elegy from Russia (1992), A Retrospection of Leningrad (1957–1990) (2009), An Example of Intonation (1991), Stone (1992), Whispering Pages (1993), Soldier's Dream (1995). Spiritual Voices (1995), Mother and Son (1996), Oriental Elegy (1996), Hubert Robert. A Fortunate Life (1996), A Humble Life (1997), The St. Petersburg Diary. Inauguration of a Monument to Dostoevsky (1997), The St. Petersburg Diary. Kosintsev's Flat (1997), Confession (1998), The Dialogues with Solzhenitsyn (1998), dolce… (1999), Moloch (1999), Taurus (2000), Elegy of a Voyage (2001), Russian Ark (2002), Father and Son (2003), The Sun (2004), The St. Petersburg Diary Mozart. Requiem (2005), Elegy of Life (2006), Alexandra (2007), Reading Book of Blockade (2009), Intonation (2009), Faust (2011).