FRIDAY

On a misty morning in the Bavarian Alps, a young blonde frolics naked on a stone parapet, waving to the soldiers who watch her through binoculars. This lithe woman is Eva (Elena Rufanova with the voice of Eva Mattes), who waits for the arrival of her grumpy, aging, hypochondriac lover. She calls him “Adi,” but most of the country knows him as the Fuhrer (Leonid Mosgovoi with the voice of Peter Fitz). Russian director Aleksandr Sokurov’s fictional look at everyday life during a weekend at the Hitler household, circa 1942, is named for Moloch, the cruel Old Testament deity who demanded the sacrifice of firstborn children. The title underscores a subsidiary theme: Hitler’s attempt to conquer death by becoming a death god himself. But most of Yuri Arabov’s script concerns the relationship between Hitler, who declares that femininity and stupidity are inherently linked, and Eva, who’s not as dumb as she pretends. Like any of the attempts to depict the “real” Hitler through fiction, the story is problematic. (Particularly irksome is the notion that Eva knew about Auschwitz but Adi didn’t.) Like Sokurov’s Mother and Son, however, Moloch can be savored simply for its imagery. Shot in soft-focus and muted color, the film has an impressionistic austerity worthy of the “degenerate” canvases that Hitler abhorred. Moloch screens at 8 p.m. Friday, June 16, at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden’s Ring Auditorium, 7th and Independence Avenue SW. Free. (202) 357-2700. (Mark Jenkins)

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