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Moloch
Directed by Alexander Sokurov
Produced by Andrey Deryabin
Thomas Kufus
Rio Santani
Michael Schmid-Ospach
Viktor Sergeyev
Written by Yuri Arabov
Marina Koreneva
Starring Leonid Mozgovoy
Yelena Rufanova
Vladimir Bogdanov
Leonid Sokol
Yelena Spiridonova
Anatoli Shvedersky
Cinematography Aleksei Fyodorov
Anatoli Rodionov
Editing by Leda Semyonova
Studio Arte
Fabrica
Fusion Product
Goskino
Lenfilm Studio
Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR)
Zero Film GmbH
Distributed by Koch Lorber Films
Release date(s) 1999
Running time 108 minutes
Country Russia
Language German with English Subtitles
Budget Unknown

Moloch (Russian: Молох) loosely translated as: A Demon In The Shape Of Man; is a 1999 fictional biographical film portraying Adolf Hitler as a humanistic figure, living life in an unassuming manner during an abrupt journey to the Bavarian Alps.

Contents

Plot

During the spring of 1942, a few months before the notorious Battle of Stalingrad, Adolf Hitler (Leonid Mozgovoy) retires to his secluded Berghof Retreat nestled on a remote hilltop, within Berchtesgaden in Bavaria to unite with his long time female companion Eva Braun (Yelena Rufanova) for a brief stay. At the residence, Braun spends her spare time with trivial pursuits such as whimsically dancing in the nude, humming to military style marching band music, and rummaging through Hitler's personal belongings. Later, Braun is thrilled to learn, that her beloved "Adi" as she affectionately calls him, will be joining her for a visit. Hitler is accompanied by guests Joseph Goebbels (Leonid Sokol), Magda Goebbels (Yelena Spiridonova), Martin Bormann (Vladimir Bogdanov) and a Priest (Anatoli Shvedersky) for conversation and playful banter. During his stopover, Hitler raves and rants on topics ranging from food, health, and climate change to wartime politics during interactions with his immediate personnel. After roaming through the mountainous landscape, Hitler voices triumph upon hearing of Germany's strategic victorious military sieges, as well as in a scene of political satire, he also claims to have never heard of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. Towards the conclusion of Hitler's trip, Braun reminds him that no one can escape death or is infallible; trying to expose a hidden weakness within him as he embarks with his motorcade to continue Nazi Germany's military campaign.

Production/Reception

Directed by Russian filmmaker Alexander Sokurov, the film is the first in Sokurov's biographical trilogy. It was succeeded by Taurus (2000) about Vladimir Lenin, and The Sun (2005) about Japanese Emperor Hirohito. Filming was done on location in the Obersalzberg, Berchtesgaden region of Bavaria.[1] For production, Sokurov employed russian actors from St. Petersburg to shoot the film, but their voices were later dubbed by german theater actors from Berlin.[2]

Reaction to the film was mixed. Among reviews, Derek Elley of Variety Magazine, noted, "There are no new revelations in this portrayal of an arrogant madman and his sycophants, and though impressive at first, Sokurov's glacial treatment, with its deliberately soft-focus look, pales after a while."[3] More enthusiastic Jim Hoberman of the The Village Voice exclaimed, "Molokh is lurid without being commercial. Evoking the German romantic landscape he synthesized for Mother and Son, Sokurov places his characteristic understatement at the service of borderline kitsch."[4] Likewise, Jason Anderson of Eye Weekly gave the the film a five-star rating, commenting, "Though he hopes to extract the man from the mythology, he doesn't merely humanize a figure in any conventional sense, as Downfall did to Hitler with troubling results."[5]

Awards

The film won four awards at the Russian Guild of Film Critics Awards 1999, including; Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Cinematography and Best Script. At the 1999 Cannes Film Festival, the film won the Best Screenplay Award.[6] It was also chosen as Russia's official Best Foreign Language Film submission at the 72nd Academy Awards, but did not manage to receive a nomination.

Cast

See also

References

  1. ^ Filming Locations IMDb
  2. ^ Plot Notes allmovie guide summary
  3. ^ Period Drama, review by Derek Elley, Variety Magazine, May 31, 1999
  4. ^ History Repeating, review by Jim Hoberman, The Village Voice, December 7, 1999
  5. ^ THE SUN, review by Jason Anderson, Eye Weekly, February 9, 2006
  6. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Moloch". festival-cannes.com. http://www.festival-cannes.com/en/archives/ficheFilm/id/5313/year/1999.html. Retrieved 2009-10-06.  

External links








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