Opera legend Galina Vishnevskaya gives a monumental performance as Alexandra’s title character, an elderly—but far from frail—woman who visits her grandson stationed among the bored, weary troops at a desolate military outpost in Chechnya.
The presence and perspective of this grandmother, a force of nature stronger than the youthful soldiers around her, allows the film to transcend its specifics and engage powerfully with the eternal themes of conflict, nationhood, and humanity. With this moving portrait of a memorable woman, director Alexander Sokurov (Russian Ark, Mother and Son) reconfirms why he is one of the titans of contemporary Russian—and world—cinema. (92 mins., 35mm)
Admission$7 students (tickets required)