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 Alexander Sokurov

Born:   June, 14th, 1951

Film Director


Alexander Nikolayevich Sokurov was born in the Irkutsk Region , in Podorvikha Village, into the family of a military man on June, 14th, 1951. In 1969 - 1975 he worked as an assistant on television, and then as a film director’s assistant. In 1974 Alexander Sokurov graduated from the History Faculty of Gorki University, and in 1978 from Director's Faculty of VGIK, where he studied in the class of popular science films with the well-known film director Alexander Zguridi. In 1978 Sokurov made a debut with the documentary film Maria which was released, just like his other 11 films created within nine years, only after the beginning of Perestroika in 1987.

The film director’s graduation work The Lonely Voice of Man based on Andrey Platonov's prose was nearly destroyed in the same 1978 and in 1987 on the film festival in Locarno it received the Bronzen Leopard prize. Only in second half of the 1980s did Sokurov get an opportunity to bring home to spectators that cinema which he wanted to create – besides several documentaries and serials, among them Moscow Elegy and Spiritual Voices, he directed Days of Eclipse after Strugatsky Brothers’ novel “One billion years before the end of the world” and Save and Protect based on Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert. Soon the film director gained worldwide popularity and won prizes at film festivals of “intellectual cinema” in Berlin, Oberhausen, and Florence, and shot films for television of Japan.

In 1999 Alexander Sokurov's picture Moloch - a grotesque drama from life Adolf Hitler and his surroundings – took the prize for the best scenario at the Cannes Film Festival. The theme of the power tackled in this film was developed in the director’s next work Taurus (2000) telling about the last days of Vladimir Lenin ’s life.

After the fantastic film-travel into the past of Russia Russian ark (2002) Alexander Sokurov returned to the theme of family relations between people in his drama Father and Son (2003) that became the second part of the trilogy started by him in 1996 with the film Mother and Son. In The Sun (2005) he again addressed the theme of power and personality - this time based on the life story of Japanese emperor Hirohito.

By 2007 Sokurov shot the film Alexandra starring the great opera singer Galina Vishnevskaya. Vishnevskaya played the role of an old woman who comes to the Chechen Republic to visit her son.

After this film Sokurov came out with the film Faust, which completed the film tetralogy that included Moloch, Taurus and The Sun. It was a large-scale project for the sake of which Sokurov had to construct a whole city.

Alexander Sokurov is one of the most well-known cultural figures fighting against the destruction of historical Saint Petersburg , where he lives and works.

Tags: Russian cinema Russian film directors    

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