In what amounts to a very different sort of documentary, writer-director Aleksandr Sokurov ruminates on the French during the WWII Nazi occupation and, most notably, its impact on the Louvre art museum.
Sokurov utilizes archive footage, stills and reenactments to look over this part of world history and the importance of art to civilization. The film has idiosyncratic touches where the modern and WWII worlds mix (there’s a strange one involving a golf cart), and it’s safe to say it doesn’t play by any rules.
It qualifies as a great study on the Louvre and its importance to the art world and the absurdity of the Nazi regime. The film takes a little bit of time to get used to. Once you figure out the style the director is employing, it becomes quite fascinating. It’s a very unique, very loose history lesson of sorts, while being a nice little intellectual workout. It covers how the artworks were preserved, while even employing some funny little touches of random humor. You also get a solid piece of war history, all within a movie that is constantly surprising you with its approach to its subjects.
In short, it’s unlike most documentaries you are likely to see.