Director: Alexander Sokurov; France/Germany/Netherlands, 2015
Reviewed by Kiomars Vejdani
The story of Louvre told the way only Alexander Sukorov can tell with a style as unique and distinguished as ever. Similarity of its visual treatment to Russian Arc (except its continuous take) is very noticeable. Like the previous film it takes us on a journey through time. From historical origin of Louvre and building of the castle in its initial form through different stages of its development with added structures, right up to its present day state. In his presentation of Louvre Sokurov's main emphasis is on its role in preservation of cultural and artistic heritage of France as the foundation of civilization. In developing his theme Sokurov resorts to any device. He takes us back and forth in time, moves between reality and fantasy. He uses any visual element at his disposal: archive material, dramatic re-enactment, and animation. He brings characters from history back to life. He jokes with them (Napoleon in particular is object of his fun), and in the end tells them their future. Accompanying the images we have Sokurov's continuous informative, and at times sarcastic commentary. Francofonia is more than a documentary. It is a document on necessity of having something of lasting values in the imperfect world of mankind.