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Russian Ark by Alexander Sokurov

Dir. Alexander Sokurov, Russia/Germany, 2002; 96 min
Russian Ark by Alexander Sokurov

After months of rehearsal, the deployment of 867 actors and three live orchestras, Sokurov unfolds Russian Ark in one fluid, unbroken shot: His camera floats through the majestic spaces of the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, engaging characters - some real, some fantasy - from Russian and European history in an atmosphere defined by the masterworks of the Western art tradition. But Russian Ark is much more than just a museum tour. Sokurov's nameless protagonist, a 19th-century diplomat, takes us on a journey through the lost, sumptuous dream that was European nobility, and the film climaxes in a gloriously sensual pageant of color, motion and music. An astonishing technical feat, a genuine tour de force, and a brilliant meditation on the delirium of history.

"One of the most astonishing films ever made." Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Has to be seen to be believed. A glorious experience" J. Hoberman, Village Voice
"An astonishing tour de force of filmmaking magic" Stephen Hunter, Washington Post
"Unprecedented Virtuosity" Richard Corliss, TIME


  • IFC Vision Award
  • Toronto Film Festival

Crew and Cast

  • Directed by: Alexander Sokurov
  • Director of Photography: Tilman Butner
  • Script: Alexander Sokurov, Anatoliy Nikiforov
  • Produced by: Andrey Deryabin, Jens Meurer, Karsten Stoter
  • Associate Producer: Alla Verlotsky
  • Presentation of a Hermitage Bridge Studio and Egoli Tossell Film
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