Russia | 2006 | 110min | COLOR | Documentary | Musical
The world’s best cellist, Mstislav Rostropovich, who passed away on 27th April this year, and Soprano Calina Vishnevskaya, who proved her recently discovered talent as an actress in Alexandra by Alexandre Sokourov, are a famous classical music couple in Russia. They invited royal families from many countries to splendidly celebrate the 50th anniversary of their marriage in 2005, and Sokourov decided to make a documentary about them. Their 50 years were full of ups and downs as famous as they were: they were prohibited travel abroad for 4 years from 1970 because they let Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn hide himself in their villa and sent a letter supporting him to a newspaper; finally Rostropovich came to America with his family as an exile. Rostropovich played a concert for the spread of liberty in front of the Berlin Wall in 1989, and in the following year visited Moscow with the Washington National Symphony. It was 16 years since his exile to America. Sokourov serenely features their thoughts on music and love while observing the classical music couple together for 3 years in the midst of the big political upheavals of the late 20th century, as shown through their interviews and rehearsal scenes.
One of the most important directors in world cinema, Alexander Sokurov is considered by many to be the spiritual heir of Andrei Tarkovsky. He studied history at the University of Gorky before attending Moscow's prestigious film academy VGIK. He made his first feature, (1978) as his graduation project, but it was rejected by the school. His selected filmography includes (1992), (1993), (1996), (1999), (2001), (2001), (2002), (2003), (2004), and the latest (2007).