Russian Ark Русский ковчег

2002 – 35mm – colore – 99’


Direction: Aleksandr Sokurov

Screenplay: Anatoly Nikiforov, Aleksandr Sokurov

Cinematography: Tilman Buttner

Editing: Stefan Ciupek, Betina Kuntzsch, Sergei Ivanov

Set design: Natalya Kochergina, Yelena Zhukova

Music: Sergei Yevtushenko

Costumes: Maria Grishanova, Lidiya Kryukova, Tamara Seferyan

Cast: Sergey Dreiden, Maria Kuznetsova, Mikhail Piotrovsky, David Giorgobiani, Alexander Chaban, Lev Yeliseyev, Oleg Khmelnitsky, Alla Osipenko, Leonid Mozgovoy

Producers: Andrey Deryabin, Jens Meurer, Karsten Stöter

Production: The Hermitage Bridge Studio, Egoli Tossell Film Ag, Fora Film



Unnoticed by anyone around him, a contemporary filmmaker finds himself magically in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg in the early 18th century. Here he meets a cynical 19th century French diplomat, and they share an extraordinary voyage through Russia’s turbulent past to the present day. A powerful cinematic experience, among art, politics and mysticism, shot with a Steadicam in one continuous 90-minute take.



“What takes places in this museum is a true time travel through the different periods of the Russian history, from present to past and back, without any cuts or ellipses. (…). This way, Sokurov defies the traditional conception of mise-en-scene, because he manages to penetrate every corner of space, in every direction, to show everything in one breath, through a continuous flow of images unfettered by the very filmmaking techniques. The current digital era has enabled cinema to search again for a narrative time that is no longer broken up and fragmented by editing, and also to obtain a perfect assimilation between the time of filming and that of audience fruition, so that they become almost the same thing and are all contained within a same image-film.”

(Grazia Paganelli,Sentieri Selvaggi, 2 November 2002)



2002 Toronto IFF: Vision Award

2003 Málaga International Week of Fantastic Cinema: Best Direction, Best Actor, Best Cinematography