Dir. Aleksandr Sokurov. 2007, 95 mins. 35mm. In Russian and Chechen with English subtitles. With Galina Vishnevskaya, Vasily Shevtsov, Raisa Gichaeva. Legendary opera singer Galina Vishnevskaya commands the screen as the title character, a Russian grandmother who journeys to visit her grandson at his remote post in the war-ravaged Republic of Chechnya. The present-tense, behind-the-headlines Alexandra was a crucial departure for Sokurov, arguably the greatest Russian filmmaker of the past 30 years, whose other narrative films of the era tended toward the historical and allegorical. It allowed him to bring his singularly tactile, psychically transporting visual aesthetic to a subject and terrain that had defined nearly two decades of Russian life, and yet always seemed to exist just beyond the frame.