Following his mesmerising exploration of the Hermitage Museum in 'Russian Ark', visionary director Alexander Sokurov's 'Francofonia' considers how French society and their occupying Nazi forces viewed culture - and thus themselves - during the Second World War.
'Francofonia' focuses particularly on the relationship between 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 Louvre 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.
★★★★ "A fascinating essay and meditation on art, history and humanity’s idea of itself" - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
★★★★ "Sokurov’s ideas have a philosophical depth and richness that are found almost nowhere else in cinema" - Robbie Collin, The Telegraph
★★★★ "Deliriously eccentric" - Dave Calhoun, Time Out
★★★★ "A simple statement made with effortless poeticism" - David Jenkins, Little White Lies