Alexander Sokurov was born in 1951 in Russia in the village of Podorvikha (Irkutsk district).
His father was a military officer, a veteran of World War II. During Sokurov's childhood his family frequently moved from one place to another, thus he first went to school in Poland and graduated in Turkmenia.
After graduating from high school in 1968, the future filmmaker entered Gorky University (Department of History). While a student he began working as a staff member for the Gorky television — first as a producer's technical assistant and later as a producer's assistant. During his work at the television station Sokurov obtained wide experience in film and television technology; and, at the age of 19, he made his first television shows as a producer. In the course of 6 years at the Gorky television Sokurov created several films and live TV shows.
In 1974 he got his first degree in History from the Gorky University.
In 1975 Sokurov entered the Producer's Department at the All-Union Cinematography Institute (VGIK, Moscow) (Documentary Film studio of Alexander Zguridi).
As an excellent student of VGIK he was granted the Eisenstein Scholarship.
In 1979 Sokurov had to pass external exams and to graduate from VGIK one year early because of his conflict with the administration of the Institute and the leadership of Goskino (State Office of Cinematography): his student works in cinematography were deemed unacceptable, and he was accused of formalism and anti-Soviet views.
His first feature film, which later received a number of awards, was “The Lonely Voice of a Man,” after an original story by the Russian writer Andrey Platonov; it was not accepted as a graduating project. It was at that time that he received support from the outstanding film director Andrey Tarkovsky, who was out of favor with the authorities at that time and very highly appreciated Sokurov's first work. Sokurov's friendship with Tarkovsky did not come to an end even when the latter left Russia.
With Tarkovsky's recommendation letter Sokurov was employed by the film studio “Lenfilm” in 1980, where he worked on his first feature films. At the same time Sokurov worked at the Leningrad Studio for Documentary Films, where he has made all of his documentaries at different times.
Even Sokurov's first films in Leningrad caused negative feedback from the communist party leadership of the city and from the Goskino. For a long time (until the period of democratic reforms in the mid-80s) none of his films were approved for public screening by Soviet censors.
In the late 80s a number of his early feature and documentary films were released for public performance and represented the Russian film industry at many international festivals. In the 80–90s he sometimes made several feature and documentary films in one year.
At the same time Sokurov was involved in non-commercial programs for youth on the radio and taught a class in Film Directing for young people at the Lenfilm Studio. In 1998–1999 he conducted a television show, “Ostrov Sokurova” (Sokurov's Island) where the issue of the place of cinematography in modern culture was raised.
In the mid-90s together with his colleagues Sokurov began to familiarize himself with video technologies. This process continues today. The filmmaker has produced a number of documentary films. Several of them were made in Japan for Japanese TV companies due to the enthusiasm and generosity of Sokurov's Japanese friends.
He has been a participant and laureate of many international festivals. Every year his films are shown in various foreign countries.
Several times he has received awards from international festivals: the FIPRESSI Award, the Tarkovsky Award, the Russian State Award (1997, 2001) and the Vatican Award, “Third Millennium” (1998).
In 1995 the European Film Academy listed Sokurov as being among the best 100 directors of world cinema.
1978-1987 - The Lonely Voice of Man /Odinokiy golos cheloveka/Одинокий голос человека
1980 - The Degraded /Razzhalovanniy/Разжалованный
1983-1987 - Painful Indifference /Skorbnoe beschuvstvie/Скорбное бесчувствие
1986 - Empire /Ampir/Ампир
1988 - Days of Eclipse /Dni zatmeniya/Дни затмения
1989 - Save and Protect /Spasi i sokhrani/Спаси и сохрани
1990 - The Second Circle /Krug vtoroy/Круг второй
1992 - Stone /Kamen`/Камень
1993 - Whispering Pages /Tikhie stranitsy/Тихие страницы
1996 - Mother and Son /Mat` i syn/Мать и сын
1999 - Moloch /Molokh/Молох
2000 - Taurus /Telets/Телец
2002 - Russian Ark /Russkiy kovcheg/Русский ковчег
2003 - Father and Son /Otec i syn/Отец и сын
2004 - The Sun /Solntse/Солнце
2007 - Alexandra /Aleksandra/Александра
2011 – Faust /Faust/Фауст
1978-1988 – Maria /Maria/ Мария
1979-1989 - Sonata for Hitler /Sonata dliya Gitlera/Соната для Гитлера
1981 - Sonata for Viola. Dmitriy Shostakovitch /Altovaya sonata.Dmitriy Shostakovich/Альтовая соната. Дмитрий Шостакович
1982-1987 - And Nothing More /I nichego bolshe/И ничего больше
1984-1987 - Evening Sacrifice /Zhertva vechernyaya/Жертва вечерняя
1985-1987 - Patience Labour /Terpenie trud/Терпение труд
1986 - Elegy /Elegiya/Элегия
1986-1988 - Moscow Elegy /Moscovskaya elegyia/Московская элегия
1989 - Soviet Elegy /Sovetskaya elegiya/Советская элегия
1990 - Petersburg Elegy /Peterburgskaya elegiya/Петербургская элегия
1990 - To The Events In Transcaucasia. Newsreel No. 5, Special Issue. /K sobytiyam v Zakavkazie. Leningradskaya kinokhronika № 5. Spetsvipusk/ К событиям в Закавказье. Ленинградская кинохроника № 5. Спецвыпуск
1990 - A Simple Elegy /Prostaia elegiya/Простая элегия
1990 - A Retrospection of Leningrad (1957–1990) /Leningradskaya retrospectiva (1957–1990) /Ленинградская ретроспектива (1957–1990)
1991 - An Example of Intonation /Primer intonatsiyi/Пример интонации
1992 - Elegy from Russia /Elegia iz Rossiyi/Элегия из России
1995 - Soldier's Dream /Soldatskiy son/Солдатский сон
1995 - Spiritual Voices /Dukhovnie golosa/Духовные голоса
1996 - Oriental Elegy /Vostochnaya elegiya/Восточная элегия
1996 - Hubert Robert. A Fortunate Life /Rober. Schastlivaya zhizn`/Робер. Счастливая жизнь
1997 - A Humble Life /Smirennaya zhizn`/Смиренная жизнь
1997 - The St. Petersburg Diary. Inauguration of a Monument to Dostoevsky /Peterburgskiy dnevnik. Otkritie pamyatnika Dostoevskomu/Петербургский дневник. Открытие памятника Достоевскому
1997 - The St. Petersburg Diary Kosintsev's Flat /Peterburgskiy dnevnik. Kvartira Kozinceva/Петербургский дневник. Квартира Козинцева
1998 - Confession /Povinnost`/Повинность
1998 - The Dialogues with Solzhenitsyn /Besedi s Solzhenicinim/Беседы с Солженицыным
1999 - dolce…/dolce…/dolce…
2001 - Elegy of a Voyage /Elegiya dorogy/Элегия дороги
2005 - The St. Petersburg Diary Mozart. Requiem /Peterburgskiy dnevnik. Motsart. Rekviem/Петербургский дневник. Моцарт. Реквием
2006 - Elegy of Life /Elegiya zhizni/Элегия жизни
2009 - Reading Book of Blockade /Chitaya “Blokadnuyu knigu”/Читая “Блокадную книгу”
2009 - Intonation /Intonatsiya/Интонация