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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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Sokurov Waltz

(p.250) Chapter Fifteen Faust
The Cinema of Alexander Sokurov

Jeremi Szaniawski

Columbia University Press

This chapter reviews the film Faust (2011). Faust, winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, is a free adaptation of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's eponymous book. The film, financed in great part with Russian government funds and under the auspices of Vladimir Putin, was meant by its backers to promote the rapprochement and dialogue between German and Russian cultures. Such a grand project, rife with nationalistic and political implications, also closes Sokurov's tetralogy of power, ironically highly entwined with the historical echoes of this “dialogue” between the two cultures. With Faust, Sokurov not only crowns the tetralogy and its exploration of the nature of power and the price of the human soul, but also his career itself.

Keywords:   Russia, Faust, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Vladimir Putin, German culture, Russian culture, power, human soul

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