In Alexandra, Russian director Alexander Sokurov uses the incongruous image of a dignified old woman waddling around a shabby army base to get at the futility and ugliness of war.
A slow-moving and fastidiously staged affair starring opera great Galina Vishnevskaya in the title role, Alexandra offers an undisguised condemnation of Russia's seemingly endless military operations in Chechnya. The woman has come to this desolate, dilapidated compound of barracks, with its rumbling tanks, its ranks of young men with dirty uniforms, to visit her grandson, Denis (Vasily Shevtsov). He is a captain here, a professional soldier. It has been years since the two have met.