“Francofonia” is a quick blast of a film that runs a dual identity. It wants to be a historical document, but it also wants to be a modern historical drama. You can’t be fiction and nonfiction at the same time without running into logic issues. Director Alexander Sokurov wants to show how war breeds strange friendships, as the Third Reich tried to save the Louvre in their own way. The collection director of the art museum tries to find a common ground with the Nazis and it works to a point. But, the battle for control over content powers the film.
If you’re expecting “Monuments Men”, you can blow that our your ear. While this film rides the line of being nearly arthouse garbage, Sokurov tries to do something new. However, he also injects his voice and too many aesthetic choices into a film that didn’t quite need it. Why couldn’t we have a WWII era “My Dinner with Andre” about Nazi influence on art collections. Honestly, if the film was 20-30 minutes longer, it would be intolerable. As it is, I enjoyed it.
- 1.66:1 standard definition transfer
- Dolby Digital 5.1