Russian Ark is a 2002 Russian historical drama film directed by Alexander Sokurov and was filmed in rooms of Hermitage Museum using one unbroken shot lasting the entire length of the film (96 minutes). 3 centuries of Russian history are wrapped into a Russian film including artwork of the Hermitage and visitors to the Hermitage throughout the years.
2,000 actors, 3 orchestras, 33 rooms of the Hermitage Museum were used to shoot the film. All of this work was done in 1 day. So there could be no mistakes as there is only 1 shoot.
The story starts with a French nobleman who is strolling through the Hermitage Museum and at different times of Russian history. It feels as if you are following him in his dream but in fact he has died in a terrible accident and is a ghost who is wandering through the Winter Palace. Upon entering each room he is introduced to various real and fictional people from different time periods of St Petersburg’s three-hundred-year history.
Visions of Peter The Great, Catherine the Great, Tsar Nicholas I, among others are there to grace your presence and intrigue your view of Russia. Viewers witness many interesting stories including a grand ball, Catherine the Great searching for a toilet, and Peter the Great and his discussion with a general. In addition, Tsar Nicholas I is offered a formal apology from the Shah of Iran for the death of an ambassador and citizen of Leningrad living during the Siege of Leningrad during WWII. We see the citizen making his own coffin.
Roger Ebert wrote: «Apart from anything else, this is one of the best-sustained ideas I have ever seen on the screen…. the effect of the unbroken flow of images (experimented with in the past by directors like Hitchcock and Max Ophüls) is uncanny. If cinema is sometimes dreamlike, then every edit is an awakening. Russian Ark spins a daydream made of centuries.»
We recommend this movie and hope you will find it educational and enchanting. You can buy this film right now from our Amazon store.