The impressive Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona is a fascinating place to spend some hours. Its collection includes paintings, photographs, and until May 20 also the so-called Military Film Series by Russian master director Aleksander Sokurov, a series that hopefully will be presented in other museums around the world. Here is a small text clip from the museum site:
”In the late nineties, Sokurov made Soldier’s Dream, 1995, Spiritual Voices, 1995, and Confession, 1998, the three films that make up the so-called Military Series. These three titles, which became part of the MACBA Collection in 2004, are shown on this occasion together with Elegy of a Voyage, 2001, conceived as a journey that takes us from Siberia to the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam. This last title, which in the context of the exhibition is seen as an epilogue to the Military Series, is Sokurov’s first production commissioned by a museum. The four films share a new documentary aesthetic that combines the empirical experience of place with a sombre and spiritual lyricism. Soldier’s Dream (a short 10-minute piece extracted from the third chapter of Spiritual Voices), and the five chapters comprised in Spiritual Voices (lasting five hours and 43 minutes), relate a prolonged stay at a frontier military post between Tajikistan and Afghanistan. The omission of factual information, of the type that is common in the media, and the long sequences representing the soldiers’ routines, face the viewer with an enigmatic chain of events. Not even the news on the war in Afghanistan, persistently broadcast, can attenuate the power of these images with which Sokurov tries to create a new event – which is no other than the one that takes place during the contemplation of the film”.