27th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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A Night at the Opera

A Night at the Opera

director: Sergei Loznitsa
original title: Une nuit à l'Opéra
country: France
year: 2020
running time: 19 min.


The documentary miniature by renowned director Sergei Loznitsa was made as a tribute to the art of opera and a polemic against social rituals and historical veracity. The edited film combines footages of opera performances from the 1950s and 1960s, political celebrations, and folk festivities. The nobility and grandiosity of the opera galas, reminiscent of the French imperial tradition, is deconstructed through a fictional montage logic where street folk culture triumphs over the rituals of the French bourgeoisie. There is one particular part towering above the political allegory and the treatise on theatricality: Maria Callas’s timeless performance of an aria from Rossini’s The Barber of Seville.

"In general, the role of theatre (and opera) in politics, including the contemporary one, is colossal. All political actions, including the civil disobedience movements, have theatrical features. After all, politics itself is a kind of stage performance." (Sergei Loznitsa)


Sergei Loznitsa (1964) is a Belarusian director, editor, and author of a number of award-winning documentary films which stand out especially for the precise work with archival material. He graduated from Kiev Polytechnic and VGIK in Moscow. In 2007, his film Artel was awarded at the Jihlava IDFF. He has been living with his family in Germany since 2001.

more about film

director: Sergei Loznitsa
producer: Philippe Martin, Dimitri Krassoulia-Vronsky
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
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