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Alexandra [Aleksandra] (2007) - Aleksandr Sokurov -

Russian drama about an elderly widow, the titular Aleksandra Nikolaevna, from Sevastapol who is granted leave to visit her grandson, Denis - a captain in the Russian army, at his base in Chechnya during the war.

Filmed in desaturated hues this is a film that certainly doesn't glamourise war but paints a pretty bleak picture of not only the surrounding war-ravaged environ but also conditions in the camp itself. Being set in the middle of a war-zone it is rightly listed as both War and Drama on Imdb but don't expect any scenes of violent conflict as there are none, it's just not that type of film.

I loved the portrayal of Aleksandra by Galina Vishnevskaya, fiercely independent as women in her position and age often are, tetchy and often terse and somewhat lacking in tact, yet at her core just as desiring of human interaction as anyone else. The images of her at times aimlessly wandering around the camp are almost surreal, her scenes with the local Chechens poignant yet understated. She really is the heart and soul of this film.

This won't be to everybody's taste, it's a drama without any dramatic happenings, slow moving and contemplative but I quite enjoyed it myself.