Sovetskaja elegija / Soviet Elegy
The film starts with a walk across a cemetery, which becomes an allegory of the end of a political era. This is followed by 120 pictures of communist leaders from the history of the Soviet Union, whose names are quietly read. In retrospect, they again lend the socialist system, which is already disintegrating, the faces of a contradictory age characterised by opposing approaches to interpreting and implementing the communist utopia. Sovetskaja elegija ends with static shots, with long, quiet observations of Boris Yeltsin at home, before his time as Russian president. The camera remains in front of a scene that has an oddly unreal, utopia-free effect, as it were, a vacuum in time.
Alexander Sokurov studied history and film at the Russian State Institute of Cinematography in Moscow. Since 1978, he has made over 40 shorts, documentaries, experimental and feature films.
From the archive of the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen
Alexander Sokurov, SU 1989, 37 min, russian with german subtitles