Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Churchill, along with Jesus find themselves in Purgatory. Resurrected from the dead via animated archival footage, Sokurov uses his signature cinematic style to create a phantasmagoria, in which four of the most notorious leaders in twentieth century European history, along with Christ and a cameo by Napoleon, amble about muttering in their mother tongues, often talking past each other about not much except themselves and their personal regrets. Stripped of their bombast and context, Sokurov seems to imply that these figures were dependent upon their audiences’ adoration to wield their colossal power that resulted in millions of deaths. Their mundane preoccupations in purgatory seem to speak to the banality of evil. 

Banned by the censors from theatrical release in Russia and funded in Belgium, the director is well known for his critically acclaimed debut Russian Ark (2002) and the Golden Lion winner Faust (2011). 

After its premier at Locarno in 2022, critics called it "eerily beautiful" and "mordantly fanciful," and "...an experience more pleasurable than purgatorial."

Directed by Aleksandr Sokurov; 78 minutes; Georgian, English, French, German, Italian and Aramaic with English subtitles.

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