ON THE THRESHOLD OF DEATH. ON LIMINALITY IN ALEXANDER SOKUROV’S THE LONELY VOICE OF MAN
Based on the two short stories by Andriei Platonow, Alexander Sokurov’s The Lonely Voice of Man is the tragic story of Nikita and Liuba’s encounter after Nikita’s return from the Civil War. War experiences have made Sokurov’s protagonist unable to cope with life. As a result, he departs from Liuba shortly after marrying her and starts to work in deplorable working conditions.
This essay aims at describing liminal qualities of Alexander Sokurov’s debut film. The author advances a thesis that exploring the border between life and death, a recurrent theme of all Sokurov’s works, originates in his first feature fi lm. Thus, referring to the anthropological concept of liminal state, the author examines narrative techniques and stylistic devices used in The Lonely Voice of Man in order to demonstrate how Russian director thematises the condition of being “in between” in his film. The overarching argument of this essay is that in The Lonely Voice of Man Sokurov takes up the subjects of loneliness, memory and loss to evoke liminality.
Translated by Maciej Bobula