February 8 – 9, 2024 Swissôtel Tallinn
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The world is
not the same

 “F A I R Y T A L E”


“You strangled Satan, passion bearer,
with the godly strings of your suffering”
M22 K, 4-4

“Fairytale” (Russian: Сказка, Skazka) is an experimental animated film intended for adults, created in 2022. The film combines archival footage with deepfake technology to produce an authentic and expressive visual experience.

Through computer animation, Alexander Sokurov (born in 1951) brings historical figures to life, including four infamous leaders: Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, and Churchill. Sokurov places them in a purgatory-like setting amid colossal Roman ruins, awaiting entry into heaven.

In this black and white film, both the environment and the characters are distorted and somewhat eerie. The characters appear before the audience in a surreal and unsettling manner—sometimes realistic, then distorted, incomplete, and slipping away. These former leaders, waiting for their fate, embody historical personalities and high-tech ghosts, representing both real historical events and the filmmaker’s interpretation of them. Just as the characters’ appearances are strange and elusive, so are their dialogues, repeatedly entangled in the same, often archival, obsessions.

Sokurov seems to question what is essential in history—facts or interpretations, theories, and (mis)conceptions of facts from both the involved parties and our own perspectives. For instance, “Fairytale” focuses more on Hitler’s perception of the burning of Paris than the Holocaust.

The film’s discussions mainly revolve around the everyday details of the characters’ earthly lives and personal choices, with little mention of significant political projects, crimes, or ideologies. Despite bitterness and senile pettiness, there is an absence of enmity among old adversaries. It appears that, accustomed to waiting for entry into heaven for a long time, they have become accustomed to each other—bound by shared entrapment and similar obsessions.

Critics have praised the visual freshness and innovation of “Fairytale.” The film’s atmosphere, despite its eerie elements, resembles a quiet dream rather than actively attempting to shock the viewer with a traumatic experience.

In summary, Alexander Sokurov prompts the audience to reflect on how we remember the past and how the crimes of the past may fade into oblivion over time. The film expresses doubt about public memory, illustrating how memory tends to fade and be forgotten. Ultimately, the film also suggests that the crimes of the past may be entirely forgotten, potentially reopening the door to evil. Thus, at the end of “Fairytale,” there is a sense that experiencing and actively engaging with history may not necessarily teach us anything—a sad but relevant realization.

• Director … Aleksander Sokurov
• Writer …  Aleksander Sokurov

Igor Gromov … Supreme Force (voice)
Vakhtang Kuchava … Iosif Stalin (voice)
Lothar Deeg … Adolf Hitler (voice)
Tim Ettelt … Adolf Hitler (voice)
Fabio Mastrangelo … Benito Mussolini (voice)
Alexander Sagabashi … Winston Churchill (voice)
Michael Gibson … Winston Churchill (voice)
Pascal Slivansky … Napoleon Bonaparte (voice)

Produced by
Natalya Smagina … executive producer
Nikolay Yankin … producer

Music by Murat Kabardokov

See more: IMDb

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