Alexandre SOKUROV
Александр СОКУРОВ
Alexandre SOKOUROV
Russia / Japan, 1996, 43mn 
Colour, documentary
Oriental Elegy
▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪

Восточная элегия


 Elégie orientale

 Vostochnaya elegiya

Other titles : Vostochnaya elegia
Directed by : Alexandre SOKUROV ( Александр СОКУРОВ)
Writing credits : Alexandre SOKUROV ( Александр СОКУРОВ)
Cinematography : Aleksey FEDOROV (Алексей ФЕДОРОВ)
Production design : Vera ZELINSKAYA (Вера ЗЕЛИНСКАЯ)
Sound : Sergey MOSHKOV (Сергей МОШКОВ)
Production : Lenfilm, Severnyï fond (Saint-Pétersbourg), NHK (Japon), Sony Corporation
format : Video

Awards :
Grand Prix du Festival d'Oberhausen, 1996, Prix du festival Zolotoj Vitiaz, 1997

Plot synopsis
“Oriental Elegy” is the first piece of the Japanese video cycle, the creation of which is still going on. The genre of this cycle can hardly be considered as documentary; perhaps only because the real people are represented there in their normal conditions and surroundings.
They are simple people, but you could not call them neither ordinary or typical for modern Japan. Their marginality lies not in the adherence to same old–fashioned patterns, routine and couleur local, but in a special tune of soul, where poetry and mythology — national and all–human — mean more than tokens of contemporary reality. In fact, the filmmaker, shooting the old people in the neglected interiors of the Japanese national lodgings, creates of the alien dead.
Routine an unending poetical myth, especially keenly perceived by a European. Sokurov dips his characters into it like into some other space, where any “beyond the things” question is appropriate and intelligible much more than ordinary reality's details. Sokurov mythologises everything: those people themselves, their particular, always tragic fates and his mission of a modern Virgil.
The film–maker opposes to the wide–spread TV–genre with his own unique experience of plunging into a culture, where East and West are only different facets of something united and single.
Alexandra Tuchinskaya,

Selected in the following festivals :
- Festival of Central and Eastern Film , Wiesbaden (Germany), 2007
- Fall Festival 1998, Paris (France), 1998