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Elegy of Life: Rostropovich, Vishnevskaya
Elegja żyzni. Rostropovich. Vishnevskaya
dir. Aleksander Sokurow / Russia 2006 / 101’
subtitles: Polish and English
Movies on Art International Competition


Mstislav Rostropvich, Galina Vishnevskaya, Seiji Ozawa, Aleksandr Sokurov

Film description

Another part of Aleksandr Sokurov's cycle of Elegies made in the style combining elements of a documentary, film essay and a diary of personal fascinations, reflections and contemplation. After film portraits of Andrei Tarkovsky, Boris Yeltsin, Vytautas Landsbergis and Feodor Chaliapin, this time the director turned his camera to an extraordinary marriage of artists: the cellist Mstislav Rostropovich and singer Galina Vishnevskaya (who also played the leading role in Alexandra, screened at the ENH 2007). The main characters are legends of contemporary music, co-authors of its landscape with their innumerable first performances, original re-interpretations, with their friendship and cooperation with the greatest composers. It suffices to mention Prokofiev, who noticed and appreciated the young Mstislav; Shostakovich who composed cycles of songs for Galina; or Penderecki, who devoted two of his works to the excellent cellist. Sokurov offers a private portrait, constructed of personal conversations, observation of scenes of public life and discrete voiceover narration. And he asks fundamental questions: what is the secret of a genius? what is music? what is the phenomenon of Russian nature?

Jan Topolski

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