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Alexander Sokurov: filmography and creativity

It is universally recognized that the Russian director Alexander Sokurov, whose filmography includes more than a dozen full-length films, belongs to a small number of the most significant people in Soviet and Russian cinema. His work is sometimes difficult to perceive unprepared audience. But it does not become less interesting from this.

Facts about the biography of a famous master

Analyzing the biographies of outstanding people, it is always interesting to see how they went to worldwide fame. Alexander Sokurov, whose filmography stands apart from the mainstream of world and Russian cinema, comes from a deep province. The future director was born in June 1951 in the remote Siberian village of Podorvikha in the Irkutsk region in the family of a serviceman. His father often had to change his place of residence. This circumstance provided the young man with a wealth of new impressions and expanded the idea of the world around him.
He did not come to the final choice of the profession. The Moscow State Institute of Cinematography was the second high school graduated from Alexander Sokurov. His filmography began with the thesis "The Lonely Voice of Man" based on the works of Andrei Platonov. Before that, the director graduated from the historical faculty of the Gorky University.

Graduate work

Not everyone knows about the difficulties faced by the future director Sokurov during the training in VGIK. His filmography could end with a single film, which became a thesis. Sokurov had to finish his studies ahead of schedule and take exams externally. The reason for this was a conflict with the leadership of the university and the State Committee. The director was accused of formalism and anti-Soviet sentiments, and this in those days put an end to the profession. The situation helped to correct only the intervention of such an outstanding master, as Andrei Tarkovsky. He stood up for the student and his work. But the thesis was sentenced to destruction. It survived only thanks to a burglary, which Alexander Sokurov committed with the help of friends. His filmography could have ended on this. He carried his first creation in a tin box, leaving the institute. However, this did not happen, and the story of Sokurov-director was destined to continue.

After VGIK

In the first half of the eighties, the country needed little creativity from such directors as Sokurov. The filmography of the master of this period consists mainly of documentary films. The director shot them at the Lenfilm studios, where he managed to get settled only thanks to Tarkovsky's patronage. He was simply not allowed to shoot an art film. And what could be removed in defiance of the prohibitions was doomed to be stored on a shelf. The chances to get through to the viewer from the director were very few. Nevertheless, he refused to leave the country, despite the opportunity. The director could not imagine the continuation of his work outside Russian reality. And despite everything I continued to work and hope for the best.


Radical changes in the life of the country, which began in the second half of the eighties, reflected on many facets of Soviet life. Including the policy in the field of art and cinema. It became possible much of what was previously impossible. One of the first was felt by Alexander Sokurov. The viewer became available to all previously banned work of this director. And more importantly, all restrictions for further creativity have disappeared. Soviet arthaus style films began to occupy the first lines in the competitive programs of prestigious international film festivals. One of the brightest discoveries of this time for the sophisticated festival viewer was that world of images that the Soviet director Alexander Sokurov presented in his work. The filmography of this master was officially recognized as an asset of the classics of world cinema. And her author is crowned with the first prizes of several international cinematographic film festivals.

After the restructuring

Nineties are considered difficult for Russian cinema. In the face of the gravest political and economic crisis, it was not possible to make films of great potential. The country screens were filled with Hollywood products not of the highest quality. But Alexander Sokurov did not stop these difficulties, he was able to find the necessary funding for his projects. During this period the director removes a lot, compensating forced years of creative idle time. Sometimes he has to work on several projects at the same time. He tries his hand at various genres and directions, including himself in his own and other people's films. And there is every reason to believe that Sokurov, the actor, whose filmography is currently represented by only two works, will show in the future what he is capable of. Throughout his previous life, he managed to prove that he knows how to achieve success when he sets himself the tasks.

Alexander Sokurov: the filmography of the master at the moment

1. A lonely human voice (1978-1987).

2. Empire (1986).

3. Mournful numbness (1987).

4. Days of the eclipse (1988).

5. The circle of the second (1990).

6. Quiet pages (1993).

7. Mother and son (1997).

8. Moloch (1999).

9. Taurus (2000).

10. The Russian Ark (2002).

11. Father and Son (2003).

12. The Sun (2004).

13. Alexandra (2007).

14. Faustus (2011).

The filmography of the master is far from complete. The continuation of it may be the most unexpected, but, undoubtedly, interesting. Director Alexander Sokurov is able to surprise his audience.

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