• Film ID:
  • 10873
  • Availability:
  • DVD Available from Shop
  • Film cert:
  • Running time:
  • DVD=96 min.
  • Nationality(ies):
  • Russia.
  • Primary Language(s):
  • Russian.
RUSSIAN ARK (2002)
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Director(s)
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Review
A groundbreaking film that is shot in a single unedited take, beginning with guests arriving for a ball at the Hermitage in St. Petersburg and ending as they sedately disperse after the evening's entertainment. In between these two bookends an unnamed 19th century diplomat wanders the Hermitage corridors and salons examining the artwork and witnessing scenes from three hundred years of the building's history. Perhaps surprisingly, given the historical figures and the history of the Romonov monument, Russian Ark never attempts to examine the social and political changes that the country has undergone since the early 18th century. Instead the film concentrates on the opulent images and lives that are part of the building's present and past. As the camera sweeps through these haunted and majestic spaces we are given the impression that Sokurov's film is more homage to the romantic heritage of the Russian people than the practical expediency of changing fortune. A splendid, visual feast!
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