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The Cinema of Alexander SokurovFigures of Paradox$
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Jeremi Szaniawski

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231167352

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231167352.001.0001

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Moloch

Moloch

Adi (and Eve): Fear Eats the Soul

Chapter:
(p.139) Chapter Nine Moloch
Source:
The Cinema of Alexander Sokurov
Author(s):

Jeremi Szaniawski

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231167352.003.0010

This chapter reviews the film Moloch (1999). Moloch is about a day in the life of Eva Braun and Adolf Hitler, circa 1942. The film serves as a dark parody of the book of Genesis, specifically the story of Adam and Eve. But unlike the innocence—soon to be smothered by the original sin—of the biblical characters, here Eva is a languid temptress awaiting physical love, while Hitler is a demented buffoon, midway between delusional delirium and a fear of the imminent fall. It is a paranoid, scrutinised, fear-ridden Nazi Eden that Sokurov gives us to behold. The term of the grotesque is important here: Hitler is aligned with Moloch, the Ammonite god described in the Old Testament. It is interesting to note that Sokurov claims to be interested in showing the dictator as a human being in this film.

Keywords:   Moloch, Eva Braun, Adolf Hitler, parody, book of Genesis, Adam and Eve, grotesque, fear

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