Tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog werken de Fransman Jacques Jaujard en de Duitser Franz Wolff-Metternich samen om de kunstschatten van het Louvre in Parijs te beschermen en te bewaren. De film verkent de relatie tussen kunst en macht tijdens een van de meest bloedige en verwoestende conflicten die de wereld ooit heeft gekend.
Francofonia (2015 release from France; 90 min.) is a non-fiction movie loosely about the Louvre museum in Paris.Couple of comments: this is the latest oeuvre from writer-director Aleander Sokurov, best know for “Russian Ark” (about the Hermitage in St. Petersburg). In fact it can be said that “Francofonia” is a spiritual sequel to that movie. Going in, I knew that “Francofonia” was about the Louvre, but didn’t know more than that. And while it is true that the movie’s primary subject matter is the Louvre, it is in equal measure about the WWII occupation of Paris by the Germans, and a bunch of other things as well (“why are portraits so important in European culture, whereas they are non-existent in the Muslim culture?”, asks Sokurov). Even while it’s not always clear what the ultimate aim or direction of the movie is, that’s not a problem for me. The only jarring thing for me was the occasional and unnecessary appearance of actors impersonating Napoleon (whom we see staring at the Mona Lisa, while repeating “C’est moi!”) and France. And oh yea, we do get to see a bunch of paintings and other works of art from the Louvre. In the end, I was surprised how quickly the 90 min. had flown by, so while this movie is rather strange, it certainly is intriguing and held my attention.
If you are in the mood for a deeply subjective non-fiction film (but don’t call it a documentary) about the Louvre, I’d readily suggest you check this out.