Aleksandr Sokurov (1951) is a Russian filmmaker. He graduated from the History and Philosophy Department at Gor’kij University and began working as a documentary filmmaker for television; later he graduated also from the prestigious Moscow National Film School VGIK. During his early period, he filmed several reportages including The Dialogues with Solzhenitsyn and a documentary about Grigori Kozintsev’s flat in Saint Petersburg. His film Mournful Unconcern was nominated for the Golden Bear at the 37th Berlin International Film Festival in 1987. Mother and Son (1997) was his first internationally acclaimed feature film and won various awards also at the Moscow International Film Festival. The film was followed, in ongoing line, by Father and Son (2003). Susan Sontag included two Sokurov features among her ten favourite films of the 1990s, saying: “There is no director active today whose films I admire as much.”
Sokurov has filmed a tetralogy about power, focusing on key characters in the 20th century history: Moloch (1999) about Hitler (Best Screenplay Award at Cannes), Toro (2001) about Lenin, and The Sun (2005) about Emperor Hirohito.
In 2011, Sokurov shot the last chapter of the series Faust, a retelling of Goethe’s tragedy. The film, premiered on September 8, 2011, in competition at the 68th Venice International Film Festival and won the Golden Lion. His best-known works include Russian Ark (2002), in competition at the 55th Cannes Film Festival, while his most recent films are Alexandra (2007), in competition at the 60th Cannes Film Festival – and Francofonia (2015), screened in the main competition section of the 72nd Venice International Film Festival. His latest film, Fairytale, had its world premiere in August 2022 at the 75th Locarno Film Festival.