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Russian ark (Russkij kovcheg)

Threat advisory: Guarded - General risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

Invisible to everyone around him, a contemporary filmmaker magically finds himself in the Hermitage in St Petersburg - back in the early 1700s!

He meets a cynical French diplomat from the 19th Century and the men become accomplices in an extraordinary time-traveling journey through Russia's turbulent past - ending in the present day. Exploring the splendid corridors and salons of the Palace, the Marquis and the filmmaker witness astonishing scenes from the Tsarist Empire: Peter the Great thrashes his General with a whip; during rehearsals of her own play, Catherine the Great rushes around looking for a place to relieve herself; the family of the last Tsar dine together, oblivious to the impending revolution; hundreds of dancers waltz at the last Great Royal Ball of 1913 with Valery Gergiev conducting.

As their time-voyage unfolds in a single, uncut steadicam shot, the two men engage in a passionate and ironic dispute. The Marquis clearly has a Western love-hate relationship with Russia, whereas the modern filmmaker questions his country's uneasy connection to its past and to Europe today. The two tease each other, and share their amazement at the scenes they encounter. The Hermitage is the Russian Ark, affectionately guarding art and history until the world sees better days.

Theatrical propaganda posters

Russian ark (Russkij kovcheg) image

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film Russia historical Hermitage St Petersburg single take history Russian

Persons of interest

  • Sergei Dontsov .... Stranger
  • Mariya Kuznetsova .... Catherine The Great
  • Leonid Mozgovoy .... The Spy
  • David Giorgobiani .... Orbeli
  • Aleksandr Chaban .... Boris Piotrovsky
  • Maksim Sergeyev .... Peter the Great
  • Anna Aleksakhina .... Alexandra Fyodorovna
  • Boris Khaimsky .... Screenwriter
  • Anatoli Nikiforov .... Screenwriter
  • Svetlana Proskurina .... Screenwriter
  • Aleksandr Sokurov .... Screenwriter
  • Aleksandr Sokurov .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

I didn't understand it. The costumes were nice and so was the architecture, but I couldn't find any reason for the film to be made, other than getting into the Guiness book of records for the longest single take (99 minutes).

Security censorship classification


Surveillance time

99 minutes (1:39 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 1 May 2003

Cinema surveillance images

Russian ark (Russkij kovcheg) imageRussian ark (Russkij kovcheg) imageRussian ark (Russkij kovcheg) imageRussian ark (Russkij kovcheg) image

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