Following his mesmerising exploration of the Hermitage Museum in Russian Ark, visionary director Alexander Sokurov turns his attentions to the turbulent history of the Louvre in his poetic, complex and captivating new film Francofonia.
Focusing particularly on the museum’s occupation by Nazi forces following the summer of 1940, Francofonia tells the story of two remarkable men: Louvre director Jacques Jaujard and Nazi officer Franz Wolff-Metternich. First enemies then collaborators, their alliance was the driving force behind the preservation of the museum’s treasures in the face of untold destruction throughout the rest of the world. Exploring the relationship between art and power, Francofonia blurs the lines of fiction, documentary, memoir and video essay.
Punctuated by Sokurov’s own thoughtful musings and philosophies, it is a timely and poignant film, posing questions about the ownership and value of art during conflict while addressing notions of what it means to be European in times of division and conflict.
Documentary | Drama | History
Dir. Aleksandr Sokurov, France/Germany/Netherlands, 2015, 80 mins
Cast: Louis-Do de Lencquesaing, Benjamin Utzerath, Vincent Nemeth