Synopsis: A despairing scholar sells his soul to Satan in exchange for one night with a beautiful young woman.
Director(s): Aleksandr Sokurov
Production: Leisure Time Features
  15 wins & 23 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
140 min

Prollne Fllm

Saint Petersburg

with support from The Mass Media

Development and Support Foundation


The Russian Cinema Fund


A fllm by

Alexander Sokurov

Based on the tragedy by

Johann Wolfgang vnn Goethe

You've told us so much about

the composition of the human body...

...but not a word about the soul.

I haven'! found ii.

Where does one look for the soul?

The skin is (hi n, perforated...

Large and lung...

The soul. And life...

Where are they hidden, then?

In the head?

There's only rubbish in there!

Or in the heart?

Sometimes I have the feeling that...

...both reside in the feet.

- How do you mean?

- If one is startled...

Up, up, up, up!

...Then one suddenly feels...

...so much life in the startled feet.


You clean up here!

The rag is dirty, too.

- That rag ls clean.

- Smell for yourself!

I made a mistake.

It's the formalin!

Do you thlnk that

I'm already dead?

- That was an accident.

- Like the berries with carbolic acid...

...you served me last night?

Carbolic acid dulls the pain.

The paln of the world.

And the pain of the soul.

What the soul ls and

where it resides...

...only God knows.

And the Foe of all mankind.

Qult babbling.

Carbolic acid, carbolic acid...

And one of them has finally flown!

Su, where will Hind...

...these two gentlemen?

- God is everywhere.

- Thus He ls nowhere.

- And the Devil:
they say...

...where there ls money,

there you find the Devil.

- I have no money.

- Then you're not the Devil.

Thank you. That's very reassuring.

- Who ls he then?

- No one knows for sure.

Word has it, the fat guy In the square

might be something of the sort.


- What would you wlsh for?

- From the Devil?

Two things. Firstly, I'd wish

to rid myself of the entire world.

Secondly, I'd wlsh to see you

more often.

How could you see me more often...

...if the world were gone?


The world goes away,

except for you and me.

Try someone else.

I'll stick with humanity.

For the common good.

The corpse can go. Be quick...

...it ls sta rtlng to stink.

- How shall I pay...

...the gravediggers?

They must walt untll tomorrow.

Then I will pay them.

- Come In. You can take hlm.

- What about our money?

- Tomorrow.

- Always the same.

So cold. That's that.

Excuse me.

Everything comes and goes

according to law...

...only man's Ilfe ls overcast

by faltering fortune.

The God who dwells within

my breast...

...who can shake my soul

in its depths...

...who slts enthroned over

all my powers...

...outside me He is powerless.

Professor, when shall the two

of them come by tomorrow?

I don' want to hear about ii.

I am starving.

- I'm off!

- Where tn?

Where, where? There!

Hold him tight.

Why are you standing there stock-still?

- But he ls kicking!

- Old fool! Why are you kicking

Nothing has changed.

Your son, Doctor.

I see. I'll he dune shortly.

Why does this place always stlnk

so terribly?

My father. An honourable man,

lost in the dark.

What use is all this to him?

What are you up tn!! Get out!

Thief I

Go and see what the Professor

is doing over there!

Tell hlm people are trying

to work over here!

You're wanted.

You are breaking his spine!

What do you want?

Nothing. To see you.

To see what? I'm not A painting.

It's too tight.

And you're charging money for this?

And whom exactly would I be charging?

Those people over there.

My patients don' have anything.

Untie him, please.

Good method.

Tested on many a patient.

- And how many have survived?

- I've never counted.

As usual.

- Can you walk?

- I don't know.

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Aleksandr Sokurov

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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