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Russia / Germany / France, 1998 (MIFF 1999, International Panorama)

Director: Alexander Sokurov

'Moloch' is the name generally given to a divinity worshipped by various ancient cultures. Although sources differ on the details of Moloch's abominations, this idol is most often connected to the sacrifices of children. In Milton's Paradise Lost, the name was given to Satan's strongest fighter who rallied for war against Heaven. Aleksandr Sokurov's film (winner of best Screenplay at Cannes 1999) follows Hitler through the seemingly undistinguished events of a single day: lunch, a walk in the mountains, discussions of the war effort with his henchmen Goebbels and Bormann and, most importantly, his relationship with Eva Braun. The director slowly constructs a portrait of horror; although the inhuman Fuhrer does not bear the outward appearance and terrifying visage of the entity he is being compared to, the principle lesson of the last world war, that evil lies in apparently banal actions, is made clear in a terrifying fashion.

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