Synopsis by Mark Deming
The famous tale of a man willing to bargain away his soul gets a new interpretation in this film from director/co-screenwriter Alexander Sokurov. Faust (Johannes Zeiler) is a wise man who has become frustrated with the boundaries of human knowledge; his experiments in turning base metals into gold keep failing, he questions the nature of the human soul, and he's infatuated with a woman named Margarete (Isolda Dychauk) who doesn't care for him. While browsing through a curious pawnshop, Faust encounters a foul but chatty moneylender (Anton Adasinsky) who offers to make Margarete attracted to him in exchange for his signature on a document surrendering ownership of his soul. Faust accepts, and after accidentally killing a young man in a barroom brawl, he discovers the victim is Margarete's brother; after the funeral, she sleeps with him against all logic. However, Faust is taken aback when the moneylender appears to demand what is now rightfully his. Faust received its North American premiere at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.
bar [pub], bargain, brother, document, fight, funeral, gold, infatuation, money-lender, murder, pawnshop, soul