Russia/Germany 2002


Russian with
English subtitles

Enhanced for widescreedn TVs

Dolby Digital 5.1

96 minutes



'Making of' documentary

'Hubert Robert - A Fortunate Life' documentary film by Alexander Sokurov

Stills Gallery

Filmographies and biographies

Russian Ark
The Film Director Credits Cast Press Quotes Images


Alexander Sokurov's extraordinary masterpiece, Russian Ark is a unique journey through time and Russian history.
Filmed entirely in the State Hermitage Museum, in St. Petersburg, Sokurov's breathtaking film recreates 300 years of history and culture and is the first entirely unedited, single take, full-length feature film.

A contemporary Russian filmmaker magically finds himself in the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg.
He meets a cynical French diplomat from the nineteenth century, the Marquis de Custine, and the two men become accomplices in an extraordinary, time-travelling journey through Russia's turbulent past. Together they encounter life at the Imperial Palace as it was through different ages from Catherine the Great's backstage love affairs to the last Tsar's ball in 1913 in the Winter Palace, the panorama unfolds in Europe's most beautiful planned city.

Russian Ark combines state of the art digital technology, strong storytelling, lavish production values and a highly personal mise-en-scene. Sokurov's vision - featuring more than 2000 actors and extras - was realised entirely 'in camera'. After months of careful planning and choreographed rehearsals, the entire film was shot by Tilman B├╝ttner in a single day, in one recording, in a single uninterrupted steadicam sequence. The ultimate 'directors cut', there is no editing as the film unfolds in pure real time.
Pushing the boundaries of filmmaking, Russian Ark is the first ever uncompressed High Definition movie, recorded onto a portable hard-disk system, rather than 35mm or tape.

The Hermitage is the 'Russian Ark', affectionately guarding art and history until the world sees better days...