Francofonia

While there are undoubtedly lots of ideas and interesting visuals here, I found it harder to engage with than Sokurov’s brilliant Russian Ark, which is much more straightforward (in as much as a one take, single shot film about Russian history and art set within The Hermitage can be straightforward). Francofonia has a similar aim: the Louvre is the main setting while the director examines the relationship between museums, culture and European history, particularly the Nazi occupation of Paris. Sadly there were bits that I didn’t/couldn’t follow; instead I kept thinking about Frederick Wiseman’s documentary National Gallery, and how that film said so much more to me about the role of a large museum and how it affects and reflects society. (**½)