Fresh from Locarno, master filmmaker Alexander Sokurov (Russian Ark) presents a groundbreaking new film that wrestles with the legacy of 20th century totalitarianism. In this absurdist comedy, the Russian auteur imagines a reunion in purgatory between Hitler, Stalin, Churchill and Mussolini, who appear as themselves in ‘deepfake’ archival footage. Their images are like ghosts. They ramble on about their past regrets and pettily snipe at each other while wandering through endless plains and burning towers. They take turns in front of heaven's gate and, as in a Samuel Beckett play, they are all told to wait. Through a completely unique combination - intertwining painterly techniques with photographic archival material and AI technology - Sokurov creates an eerily beautiful vision of the underworld as a silvered, milky in-between realm that sometimes erupts into orange fire. Just because you make history, Fairytale suggests, doesn’t mean you learn anything from it.
Screenings will be followed by a pre-recorded Q&A with director Alexander Sokurov.