In conversation, the film director Alexander Sokurov discusses aspects of his new film Alexandra (2008). This is a moving story about the elderly Russian woman Alexandra Nikolaevna's journey to war-torn Grozny, Chechnya, in order to visit her soldier grandson. When the babushka is treated like royalty upon her arrival at her grandson's army camp, the film optimistically hints at reconciliation, but questions arise concerning the film's political awareness. Many viewers are likely to find Sokurov's depiction of the situation in Chechnya simplistic and patronizing. As he points out, however, this is cinema, and it would, admittedly, be a great disservice to this astoundingly accomplished auteur to view his film in strictly political terms. Ultimately, Alexandra's visit to her grandson in the ruins of Grozny remains, luminous, dreamlike, and redemptive
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