Russia / Italy / Switzerland / France, 2004 (MIFF 2006, International Panorama)
Director: Alexander Sokurov
“Wonderfully eccentric and fascinating.” - The New York Times
Celebrated Russian master, Aleksandr Sokurov, continues his portraits of fading totalitarian leaders with this epic work, the third in a series that first looked at Hitler (Moloch) then Lenin (Taurus) and now Japanese Emperor Hirohito who controversially renounced his divinity to be judged as a humble man after surrendering to Allied forces in 1945.
Describing the character of Hirohito as “an inexhaustible artistic object”, Sokurov doesn't see the emperor first and foremost as a deity but as a human being, deeply affected by tragedy that besets his country. Using low-lit sepia and foggy blue-greys to create a feel of lingering creepiness and dislocation, Sokurov fashions a film that is both mesmerising and demanding.
Screened at this year's Berlin Film Festival where it was nominated for a Golden Bear Award.
D Alexander Sokurov P Igor Kalenov, Andrei Sigle, Marco Müller S Yuri Arabov WS The Works International L English, Japanese TD 35mm/2004/110mins
Aleksandr Sokurov was born in Podorvikha, Russia, in 1951. His films include Days of the Eclipse (1988), Save and Protect (1989), Whispering Pages (1993), Confession (1998), Moloch (1999), Taurus (2001), Russian Ark (2002) and Father and Son (2003).