Music Box Films has announced the acquisition of Alexander Sokurov’s “Francofonia,” an account of how the Louvre’s artwork was saved from harm during WWII. The film ultimately becomes a grand cinematic essay on the precariousness of art, culture and civilization. The Russian filmmaker’s latest work premiered at the Venice Film Festival, where it was voted the Best European Film by a jury of film critics. It had its North American premiere in Toronto.
The official film synopsis reads: “Beginning as a portrait of Paris’ world-renowned Louvre Museum, the film slowly expands into a monumental canvas upon which Sokurov traces France’s role as a dedicated supporter of the arts. Sustained through the centuries, France’s reverance for culture has remained unequalled by any other European nation. With tremendous intelligence and a singular attention to form, Sokurov surpasses all previous attempts to craft a cohesive cinematic vision of a country’s art and history, charting France’s evolution from the Middle Ages onward as it rose through times of war and peace to its peak as the dominant cultural hub in the heart of Europe.”
“In ‘Francofonia,’ Sokurov does for the Louvre what he did for the Hermitage in ‘Russian Ark’: he makes a museum a vivid, living dramatic personae,” said Edward Arentz, Music Box Films Managing Director. “And it’s our great privilege to bring it to U.S. audiences.”
The deal for U.S. distribution was finalized at TIFF between Berlin-based Films Boutique and Music Box Films, who is planning a Spring 2016 theatrical release. The film opens in France this November.