- Actors: Galina Vishnevskaya, Vasily Shevtsov, Raisa Gichaeva, Andrei Bogdanov, Alexander Kladko
- Directors: Aleksandr Sokurov
- Producers: Laurent Danielou, Andrei Sigle
- Format: PAL
- Language: Russian
- Subtitles: English
- Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
- Number of discs: 1
- Classification: PG
- Studio: Artificial Eye
- DVD Release Date: 12 Jan. 2009
- Run Time: 91 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
- ASIN: B001L4I25E
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 83,965 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Alexandra  [DVD]
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2007 film, directed by Alexsandr Sokurov, depicting the life of a group of Russian soldiers in war-torn Chechnya. Seen from the perspective of an old woman, the film explores family relationships in a masculine world full of violence, fear and death. Alexandra (Galina Vishnevskaya) travels to Chechnya to find her grandson (Vasily Shevtsov) whom she has not seen for seven years. Able, because of her age, to move apparently freely between the military and the civilian population, Alexandra discovers the everyday aspirations and motivations of characters on both sides of the conflict.
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Top Customer Reviews
Well, it does for many reasons. Leave alone the technical aspects of superb camera framing and wonderful acting (especially by Alexandra, played by the late Galina Vishnevskaya, more famed for her work in the opera house), there are the messages to be gleaned from the context: the treatment of soldiers, the treatment and tensions of the local population, and the treatment by both of Alexandra herself. But probably the most important is the juxtaposition of a strong-willed but kindly – and wise – grandmother in the midst of a camp geared towards war. All the soldiers, despite their bravado, have mothers. And then there is consideration of the political message …
It’s all shot and acted in a natural manner. There is no grandstanding, although at one point Alexandra confronts the unit commander. Lamenting the war, she tells him, “You can destroy. But when will you learn to rebuild?” But instead of being a fount of wisdom, Alexandra has much to learn too.Read more ›
This Russian film stars 73 year old Galina Vishenevskaya, a famous opera singer, as the title character. Made in 2007, during the Second Chechen War, waged by the Russian government, against separatists in the Caucasus. Aleksandra is missing her grandson, Dennis, who is an army officer, serving on a remote base in this bleak, war-torn country. She resolves to visit him, despite her age and infirmities, and the logistical difficulties of travelling to a war zone. Taking the arduous train journey, she finally arrives, hot and dusty, at Dennis's camp. He makes her as comfortable as possible, given the basic amenities, and shows her around proudly, letting her sit in his armoured vehicle, and meeting the men of his unit, mostly young, and all homesick. When he has to go on a mission, she is able to wander around freely, and visits the nearby Chechen town, to buy goods for the young men not allowed to leave the base. She views both sides of this conflict, and worries for her grandson, who she may never see again. This is an understated performance, but one of great depth. Her skill, is in showing that she could be anyone and everyone's concerned grandmother, and it is this that is the glue that holds the whole film together.
On the one hand, it is so naturalistic that it has an almost documentary feel to it; on the other, it has the sensitivity to visual image of a painter.
Although solely about a war, this is not in any normal sense a war film. It is a measured evocation of time and place; and that time and place happens to be in the middle of a brutal war. Sokurov relies on the mood that he evokes to tell you what he thinks about the issue, and - as with any work of art - different observers will come to their own conclusions as to what that might be.
Enjoy it on its own terms - or avoid it. Narrative storytelling, this isn't.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's very slow, but worth it for how thought provoking it becomes.Published 17 months ago by mos_daft
Yes it's true a granny visits her son at a Russian base in Chechnya,(not sure about the spelling),potters about a bit,and goes home.Absolutely NOTHING Happens! Read morePublished on 7 April 2012 by amazon.co.uk are biased,tax dodging ,cacographists
Grandma Alexandra (Galina Vishnevskaya) looks very fed up. She's got the whole of Mother Russia on her back - so is needing to walk much Great Suffering out of her tired legs. Read morePublished on 6 Jan. 2012 by Jan Mecir
I love foreign language films
but this was by far the worst film I have ever seen
The story is about a grandmother vising her grandson soldier
She goes to the market... Read more