Why make three movies on historical subjects and one on a fictional one? "Why do you think?" I suggest Faust is a sort of prequel to the other three. "Maybe," he nods. Or is it that the first three deal with the death of power, whereas Faust addresses its acquisition? "But he never gets this power," Sokurov says. "It's impossible to have this power, because it doesn't really exist. It only exists to the extent to which people are ready to submit to it. Power is not material." Do some people have no choice but to submit to power? "No. There is always choice. Even during Stalin's terror, people had choices. They could betray or not betray, for example." Does he mean that people were persuaded, rather than forced, to submit to power?
"I would be more precise, even," he replies. "They wanted it. Because it's the most comfortable position for most people. We enjoy being forced. It takes responsibility off your shoulders. People are more afraid of responsibility than anything else. Especially all-encompassing responsibility for your country, for the security of your people, for war and peace. Many millions survived only because they withdrew from these responsibilities. For example, they voted for Hitler, they tolerated Stalin. Millions of people did nothing to stop the Cultural Revolution in China. Just like now most of us are refusing to think about the conflict going on between Christian and Muslim civilisations."