Francofonia: an Elegy for Europe by Aleksandr Sokurov (Russia, 2015, 90 mins.). Sokurov’s new film is a rich and unusual meditation on the Louvre Museum in Paris and the preservation of European culture during the destructive climate of World War Two. The film’s theme is the nature of museums themselves: what they tell us about our grasp of time, their historical function in empire-building, the way in which they foster the harvesting of hoarding of art, and how those very acts alter our understanding of power, both personal and political. Trained as a historian before becoming a filmmaker, Sokurov himself narrates the film, occasionally delving into European history more broadly and even ruminating on the course of Europe today. Francofonia was nominated for the Golden Lion at this year’s Venice Film Festival.

Co-presented with the Ballets Russes Arts Initiative.

In honor of World War II Victory Day (celebrated May 7th in Commonwealth countries, May 8th in Europe, and May 9th in Russia), this screening will be followed by a Q&A and discussion with Harlow Robinson, Matthews Distinguished Professor of History at Northeastern University and Anna Winestein, Executive Director of the Ballets Russes Arts Initiative.