Moloch (4 stars)

(12) 100min (Soda Picture/DVD Retail)


Where his mentor Andrei Tarkovsky would often take the ordinary and turn it into the extraordinary, filmmaker Aleksandr Sokurov frequently works a partial reverse. In his trilogy of ‘dictator’ films, Tauras (about Lenin), The Sun (about Hirohito) as well as this film about Hitler, he seems to be searching out a curious combo of the strange and the commonplace.

This 1999 film has Hitler (Leonid Mozgovoy) taking time out in the Alpine mountains, talking to a priest, devoting time and energy to Eva Braun (Yelena Rufanova), and absorbing the majesty of the surrounding landscape. There’s a curious sense of idealism here that’s ostensibly problematic - the suggestion that Hitler’s ignorant of the death camps, the stunning, misty, milky opening where Eva wanders around naked as if offering herself as the model of Aryan perfection. Yet it’s also a film that tries to understand less the banality of evil than the insulation of power, and would make an interesting double bill with Oliver Hirschbiegel’s much more prosaic Downfall. Good extras include a ‘making of’ documentary.

(Tony McKibbin)

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