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Une exécution ordinaire
December 17, 2010 - December 23, 2010
French Cinema @ Filmhouse
Based on his own hugely successful novel of the same name, Marc Dugain’s debut feature, An Ordinary Execution, describes an imagined encounter between the ageing Joseph Stalin and a young doctor with extraordinary healing abilities, brought in to treat the escalating physical woes of his old age after his own doctor has been ‘purged’. The apprehension of the young woman, Anna, as she enters the menacing milieu of the old tyrant is palpable, and she is forced to put up with his daily ranting and ramblings, which subtly start to reveal his warped philosophy of terror.
The film adds further fuel to the fire of speculation about how Stalin (played here by one of France’s national treasures, André Dussollier, in a piece of inspired casting) actually died, but at heart it is a piercing insight into the mind of a dictator. Brilliantly shot to reflect the grimness of oppression, and filled with tension and mystery, An Ordinary Execution is a compelling addition to the canon of examinations of police states.