Francofonia

2015 [FRENCH]

Drama / History

1
IMDb Rating 6.7 10 2695

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
August 06, 2021 at 10:17 PM

Cast

Adolf Hitler as Self
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
807.12 MB
1204*720
fre 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 27 min
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1.62 GB
1792*1072
fre 5.1
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 27 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by paul-allaer 7 / 10

Deeply subjective non-fiction film from Alexander Sokurov

"Francofonia" (2015 release from France; 90 min.) is a non-fiction movie loosely about the Louvre museum in Paris. As the movie opens, we hear a certain Alexander (that would be the movie's Russian director Alexander Sokurov) in conversation with a certain Dirk, who is on an ocean liner with art in one of its containers. It's not long before Sokurov directs his attention to June 14, 1940, when German troops overtook Paris, including archive footage of Hitler inspecting the Eiffel Tower and muttering "Where is the Louvre?" Eventually, we are introduced to Jacques Jaujard, the Louvre's museum director at that time, and Count Metternich, entrusted by Hitler to supervise the Louvre's art collection for the Nazis. At this point we're not quite 15 min. into the movie, but to tell you more would spoil your viewing experience. You'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this is the latest oeuvre from writer-director Aleander Sokurov, best know for "Russian Ark" (about the Hermitage in St. Petersburg). In fact it can be said that "Francofonia" is a spiritual sequel to that movie. Going in, I knew that "Francofonia" was about the Louvre, but didn't know more than that. And while it is true that the movie's primary subject matter is the Louvre, it is in equal measure about the WWII occupation of Paris by the Germans, and a bunch of other things as well ("why are portraits so important in European culture, whereas they are non-existent in the Muslim culture?", asks Sokurov). Even while it's not always clear what the ultimate aim or direction of the movie is, that's not a problem for me. The only jarring thing for me was the occasional and unnecessary appearance of actors impersonating Napoleon (whom we see staring at the Mona Lisa, while repeating "C'est moi!") and France. And oh yea, we do get to see a bunch of paintings and other works of art from the Louvre. In the end, I was surprised how quickly the 90 min. had flown by, so while this movie is rather strange, it certainly is intriguing and held my attention.

This movie made quite a splash at the 2015 Venice Film Festival. "Francofonia" opened without any pre-release fanfare or advertising at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati a week ago, and the Thursday early evening screening where I saw this at was one of its last, as the movie was gone the next day. I was frankly surprised how many people there were (about 10), but maybe they had the same thought as I did (better see this before it's gone!). If you are in the mood for a deeply subjective non-fiction film (but don't call it a documentary) about the Louvre, I'd readily suggest you check this out.

Reviewed by cdcrb 10 / 10

the louvre

this is not really a movie, nor a documentary or any other kind of description I can think of. if you are a history buff, that would be helpful. the story is the louvre and its art and what happened to both when Hitler invaded in ww II. we follow the administrator of the museum and the Nazi art maven sent to Paris to look after the louvre. some would know the history of what happened, but even so, there is a story to be told and a lot to learn. there is a cameo by a person very important to the formation of the museum and its significant art collection. sokurov is a wonderful director and has a flair for telling stories. if you like grown up experiences go and have fun. I did.

Reviewed by JPfanatic93 6 / 10

A decent compendium piece to Russian Ark

Francofonia is an intriguing compendium piece to Sokurov's breakthrough film Russian Ark, though it lacks the stylistic punch of that particular film. Of course, doing another 100-minute one-take shot would have felt repetitive, as if the director attempted to capitalize on his own past glory. So there's none of that in Francofonia, but that's not to stop Sokurov from pulling a few more cinematographic tricks out of his hat. That, and the overall message, matters more to him than following conventional narrative expectations. Which is made clear a bit painfully, as Francofonia is literally all over the Louvre, rather than sticking to the single time frame that one would have expected to be the primary focus. Even though the museum's survival of the war years during WW II appears to be the subject at hand, Sokurov has a lot more to tell about the place's long history, not to mention sharing his personal thoughts on both the Louvre's background, its place in art history and the treatment of art in general. That's a lot to tackle for a 90-minute movie...

And of course, as a result, not every episode of the Louvre's story proves as interesting. In fact, all of the film suffers from Sokurovs tendency to change subjects, drone on about the abuse and capitalization of art works and sudden jumps to different time periods. Nevertheless, the message remains clear: museums should not be reduced to pawns of commerce, politics or dictators. They are time capsules that tell all of human history and should be carefully preserved, kept well away from the power hungry. The German occupation is just an example of and an homage to a period in history where the joining of forces between two like minded men, who by all accounts ought to be diametrically opposed, preserved countless artifacts for posterity. Sokurov thanks both men for their assistance to cultural history. But he also isn't afraid to remind us that the origin of the Louvre itself is steeped in conquest and theft. After all, the emperor Napoleon captured many pieces of art on his campaigns abroad and had them shipped to the capital of his empire. Hitler simply attempted to do the same and failed in the Louvre's case, while succeeding in a lot of other cases. Art and politics certainly aren't mutually exclusive.

It's a point Sokurovs makes with the help of various stylistic choices, some proved in prior works, others applied for the first time in his case. Though there are no excessively long takes used as there were in Russian Ark, his introduction of historical characters sharing their insights and motivations with us is taken straight from that film. In this case restricted to only two characters (Marianne, the French Spirit of Freedom and Napoleon), rather than many. This is not a coincidence of course, as Francofonia's main tale also deals with two characters, the museum director (representing the side of French freedom) and the Nazi officer (the conquering party, the Napoleonic figure). Their story is intercut with historical footage, while it is itself disguised as historical footage by its old fashioned framing and the many print scratches applied. It would have worked even better if it was in black and white, but apparently Sokurov disagreed. He disagrees with a lot of things in Francofonia. Like art being shipped over seas as any other piece of cargo in containers on large freighters, its very existence threatened by a violent storm. Why does art suffer so much indignity and indifference today, he laments. No matter how fragmented his thoughts as shown in Francofonia, it's hard to disagree with him, when ancient buildings and statues are demolished left and right by zealous barbarians, who are also eager to simply sell such cultural heritage to the highest bidder to fund their cause. World War II may have ended seventy years ago, but art remains ever in danger at the hands of subversive ideologies. Francofonia serves as an cautionary reminder of what could be scrapped from the history pages forever if we are not careful and respectful of art's place in our cultural mind.

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