In this evocative two-part portrait of Alexander Solzhenitsyn, director Alexander Sokurov interprets the acclaimed writer’s life based on two lengthy talks with Solzhenitsyn and his wife. The documentary shot in Solzhenitsyn’s home shows his everyday life and covers his reflections on Russian history and literature.
The film, commissioned by a Russian TV channel and shot in 1998 consists of two parts of about 90 minutes each, thus the total comes to slightly over three hours. The first part is called The Knot (Uzel) while the second is entitled simply Dialogues.
DIALOGUES is not a straightforward biography but instead focuses on Solzhenitsyn’s monologues and his discussions with Sokurov about Russian literature, folklore, history, and language. Some of the writer’s statements, polemic and non–trivial, are themselves documents of Russian culture. The result is a portrait of a Russian legend through his own words.
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