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Moloch
Moloch
Actors: Yelena Rufanova, Leonid Mozgovoy, Leonid Sokol, Yelena Spiridonova, Vladimir Bogdanov
Director: Aleksandr Sokurov
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Military & War
UR     2005     1hr 48min

In an ominous fortress perched high above the clouds, everything seems in order for a reposing 24 hours. It is the spring of 1942 and Eva Braun (Elena Rufanova) is the only voice that dares to contradict the Fuhrer. She ge...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actors: Yelena Rufanova, Leonid Mozgovoy, Leonid Sokol, Yelena Spiridonova, Vladimir Bogdanov
Director: Aleksandr Sokurov
Creators: Aleksei Fyodorov, Anatoli Rodionov, Leda Semyonova, Andrey Deryabin, Michael Schmid-Ospach, Rio Santani, Thomas Kufus, Viktor Sergeyev, Marina Koreneva, Yuri Arabov
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Military & War
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Military & War
Studio: KOCH LORBER FILMS
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 03/08/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 48min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 10
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: German
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

The Banality and Foolishness of Evil
Lee Wind | Woodstock NY | 03/21/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Can any history or biography give us a true sense of what Hitler was like as human being (assuming he was ever deserving of that appelation) when unoccupied by war and conquest?. There have been many recent film attempts at this and one cannot imagine that any of them, or for that matter any future film could possibly capture the truth behind the evil that was the man. Moloch, directed by the Russian Aleksandr Sokurov, is but one colored view of the private Hitler as he cavorts for a couple days at his Bavarian mountaintop fortress with his companion Eva Braun and house guests Dr. and Mrs. Joseph Goebbels, (the former the Nazi propaganda minister) and Nazi party idelogist Martin Boormann. Hitler is seen and heard waxing inane, falling asleep during lunch, defecating on a mountaintop, daydreaming, ranting and making love. Very little of the film concerns Hitler's thoughts on anything particularly serious and perhaps that may be precisely the point: very little of importance occupied Der Fuhrer's gray matter other than excuses to reign tyrannical both personally (as displayed in every character's nervous bootlicking) and politically. Like a man on vacation, Hitler is free to think about everything and nothing and cannot seem to choose but for the latter, his few pronouncements and non sequiturs failing to impress even those closest to him, though of course, meeting with their fawning approval. At the film's conclusion, Eva Braun manages to get in a few words to him as he is about to return to the real world of war, his demeanor suddenly focused. Commenting on a statement he had made to Goebbels about conquering death, she reminds him that even he cannot do that. This echoes prior scenes where Hitler, sarcastically criticizes his carnivorous guests preference for 'corpse soup' (he was of course a vegetarian). Despite this portrayal of a life affirming Hitler seemingly so obsessed with life and nature, it is clear that nothing that transpired among the group during those few days in thought or deed was particularly life enhancing. The film is fascinating portrayal that goes beyond evil as banal: it derides Hitler as but a clown and nothing more. One is left to wonder had anything in Hitler's ideology been of substance would he have prevailed."
Very good recreation of history
DM | Ottawa Canada | 03/11/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This movie (which received fairly good reviews at Cannes in 1999) capture a brief space time spent during the penultimate days of World War II by Adolf Hitler, Eva Braun, Josef Goebbels, Martin Boorman etc., in Berchtesgaden, the mountain retreat used by the Nazi elite. The film I saw was in Russian with French sub-titles, and portrays the dyamics between Hitler and his immediates. The film is visually impressive, the acting believable, the relationship between Hitler and Eva Braun almost sympathetic (despite a natural reluctance to use that word in the context of such characters). "Moloch" would be found slow-moving by many, but others would regard it as simply focusing on characters history still finds controversial and fascinating.One piece of dialogue has Hitler seemingly unaware of the Holocaust, which his anti-semitic policies initiated but whose mechanics remain unknown to him-at least so implies the character in this film."
Aleksandr Sokurov Examines the Mind of Hitler: A Study of In
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 11/29/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"MOLOCH (translated as 'a demon in the shape of a man') is a film that shows yet another aspect of Aleksandr Sokurov's approach to filmmaking. As in his splendid 'Russian Ark', 'Mother and Son', and 'Father and Son' he manages to say more in his silences and interplay of his characters with nature and their environments that in his spare scripts (this script is by Yuri Arabov and Marina Koreneva). His movement is slow, like an adagio, his eye is constantly on symbolism and irony, and his filming/camera technique is always experimental. Given these factors 'MOLOCH' is a fine example of how Sokurov works his magic: whether or not the viewer will relate to this bizarre film depends on how willing one is to enter Sokurov's vision. This film about Hitler is very much a Russian product and given the history of the relationship between Russia and Germany, that fact is necessary to know.

1942, in a fortress in the clouds of Bavaria, we find Eva Braun (Yelena Rufanova) cavorting balletically both inside the forbodeing stone 'dungeon' and out on the dangerous parapets. She is visited by a strange entourage: Hitler (Leonid Mozgovoy), Dr. and Mrs. Goebbels (Leonid Sokol and Yelena Spiridonova), Martin Boorman (Vladimir Bogdanov), and a priest (Anatoli Shvedersky). The action takes place in a single day and during this time the actual war is not discussed. We are to understand this is a retreat for relaxation, but as we get to know the characters we find that many hints of the evil and insane minds of all of them. They talk: Auschwitz is mentioned and Hitler apparently has never heard of it; Hitler pontificates on power; the Goebbels demonstrate their abject worship of Hitler; Eva Braun is the sassy journalist who is the only one who can talk back to Hitler, teasing, seducing and acquiescing to his inability to demonstrate intimacy. They dine (Hitler's vegetarian mentality deplores the 'corporal soup' his dinner partners devour), they watch old grainy black and white newsclips of war machines, new tanks, soldiers, and oddly a performance of Beethoven's 9th Symphony with Knappertsbusch conducting. Then the guests retire, and Hitler is joined by Eva Braun in a bizarre boudoir scene. In the morning the entourage leaves and Eva remains, retuning to her strange world of dancing through the fortress.

Throughout the film the music is that of Wagner - Siegfried's Funeral Music, and other passages from ''Die Götterdämmerung' (Twilight of the Gods!) accompanied by some banter about Furtwangler and Bruno Walter as well as Knappertsbusch. The acting is somewhat stylized which adds to the bizarre mood the story creates. In the final analysis this appears to be Sokurov's image of a mind gone mad with power and visions of immortality and it is only at the very end when Eva Braun whispers that he cannot defeat death that there is a moment of vulnerability in the historical Hitler.

This is a slow moving 108 minutes of film and not for everyone's taste, but if you are an admirer of Aleksandr Sokurov it is a mesmerizing journey through the cerebral passages of one of history's worst molochs. Grady Harp, November 05

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How to view this film
M. stoakes | uk | 02/04/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Moloch is a poetic study of power. It is not a portrait of Hitler in any sense - I can't understand the reviewer who said the acting was believable. It is a self contained work - a drama - that examines the relationship between an individual and, in this case a world of power, through the activities of one day. This is not a study of evil or madness as such but examines the collective delusion that contains all of us. It is also a kind of metaphor for the film making process rather like the film Man Bites Dog - director as dictator. It's profundity is that it doesn't try to be profound but exposes the inadequacy of our view of the world and how social relations distort that view. You don't look to Shakespeare for a true portrait of Richard III. Don't look to Moloch for a portrait of Hitler - rather view it as a mirror."