Archive of films Faust / Faust

2011, 134 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2012

Alexander Sokurov’s film is not an adaptation of Goethe’s famous play. The filmmaker states that he shot what he read between the lines – Faust as a mover of great thoughts and dreams, ruled by the most fundamental human instincts: hunger, greed, and lust. Sokurov added Faust to his portraits of Hitler, Lenin, and Hirohito, thus completing a tetralogy on the nature of power. The film won a Golden Lion at Venice last year.


Alexander Sokurov’s Faust isn’t an adaptation of Goethe’s text in the usual sense. The filmmaker says he shot what he read between the lines. What does the world of good ideas look like? According to the creator of the film, Faust is a mover of thoughts, a conspirator, a dreamer. But like every human being he is ruled by the most fundamental instincts: hunger, greed, and lust. Faust culminates Sokurov’s tetralogy on the nature of power. The first three films focused on actual historical figures: Adolf Hitler, Vladimir Lenin, and Emperor Hirohito – all avid gamblers who lost the most important bets of their lives. What does Faust, who belongs to literature and not politics, have to do with them? Like them he loved and propounded words that were easy to believe, and like them he was morbidly unhappy in his daily life. Evil is indestructible: it is always reborn, and Goethe spoke its essence when he said: "Unhappy people are dangerous.”

About the director

Alexander Sokurov (b. 1951, Podorvikha, USSR), director and cameraman, studied history before moving on to documentary film at Moscow’s VGIK (1974–79). His documentaries and dramas, employing an inventive aesthetic form to ponder key moments in human life and in modern history, are regularly awarded at world festivals. Many of his works have been presented at Karlovy Vary, including a 1997 retrospective entitled Alexander Sokurov: A Spiritual Voice from Russia. His latest film Faust, awarded the Golden Lion last year at Venice, culminates Sokurov’s tetralogy on the nature of power which began with Moloch (1999), an intimate portrait of Adolf Hitler, followed by a study of dictator Lenin’s mental illness in Taurus (Telets, 2001) and The Sun (Solntse, 2005), an evocation of Japanese Emperor Hirohito’s spiritual mood at the end of the Second World War.


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About the film

Color, DCP

Section: Horizons
Director: Alexander Sokurov
Screenplay: Alexander Sokurov, Marina Koreneva, Yuri Arabov
Dir. of Photography: Bruno Delbonnel
Music: Andrey Sigle
Editor: Jörg Hauschild
Producer: Andrey Sigle
Production: Proline Film
Cast: Johannes Zeiler, Anton Adasinsky, Isolda Dychauk, Georg Friedrich, Hanna Schygulla
Contact: Films Boutique, Film Europe s.r.o.
Distributor: Film Europe s.r.o.


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