U.S. Trailer for Alexander Sokurov’s Louvre-Set ‘Francofonia’

Alexander Sokurov's Film

Last September, Music Box Films has acquired U.S. rights to Alexander Sokurov’s Francofonia, his latest film which focuses on how the Louvre’s artwork was saved from harm during WWII. Ahead of its early April release, the distributor has now debuted the first U.S. trailer.

Starring Louis-Do de Lencquesaing, Benjamin Utzerath, Vincent Nemeth, Johanna Korthals Altes, Jean-Claude Caër, and Andrey Chelpanov, the film focuses on Louvre director Jacques Jaujard and Nazi Occupation officer Count Franziskus Wolff-Metternich, whose unlikely alliance would become the driving force behind the preservation of the museum’s treasures.

The story goes through a variety of documentary and fictional modes, giving the viewer much needed contextual background on the Louvre, French and Russian history.

Sokurov does for the Louvre Museum what he did for the Russian State Hermitage Museum in his breathtaking one-take film Russian Ark (2002): “He makes a museum a vivid, living dramatic personae,” said Music Box Films managing director Edward Arentz.

Francofonia opens in New York City and select US cities on April 1. Watch below.

Sokurov’s film won the Mimmo Rotella Award as the Best European Film after its premiere at the Venice Film Festival. Francofonia was also screened at the Toronto Film Festivals in 2015, and had its U.S. premiere at the Museum of the Moving Image’s First Look festival in January.

Alexander Sokurov's Film

Set against the backdrop of the Louvre Museum’s history and artworks, master director Alexander Sokurov (Russian Ark) applies his uniquely personal vision onto staged re-enactments and archives for this fascinating portrait of real-life characters Jacques Jaujard and Count Franziskus Wolff-Metternich and their compulsory collaboration at the Louvre Museum under the Nazi Occupation. These two remarkable men – enemies then collaborators – share an alliance which would become the driving force behind the preservation of museum treasures. In its exploration of the Louvre Museum as a living example of civilization, FRANCOFONIA is a stunning and urgently relevant meditation on the essential relationship between art, culture, and history.