STATE FUNERAL

“A mesmerizing, two-hour assemblage fashioned from archival material intended for THE GREAT FAREWELL, a never-released feature documenting the March 1953 funeral of Soviet maximum leader Joseph Stalin…Both awesome and stupefying, conjuring the spectacle of a dead pharaoh laid to rest in a celluloid pyramid of his own design.” -J. Hoberman, Artforum

Moscow, March 1953: in the days immediately following the death of Joseph Stalin, countless citizens flooded the Red Square to mourn their leader’s loss and witness his burial. Though the parade of pomp and circumstance was captured in detail by hundreds of cameramen, their footage has remained largely unseen. Working from several hours of this revelatory archival material, now stunningly restored, master filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa (The Event, The Trial) has crafted one of his most astonishing nonfiction achievements. An immersive recreation of a key moment in Soviet history, State Funeral presents an all-too-timely commentary on the terrifying absurdities inherent to totalitarianism and the cult of personality.

A film by Sergei Loznitsa. Netherlands/Lithuania. In Russian with English subtitles. 2019. 135 minutes. DCP.



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