Dir: Alexander Sokurov
Stars: Sergei Dreiden, Maria Kuznetsova, Leonid Mozgovoy
Release Date: April 4th 2003
The Hermitage museum in St. Petersburg houses many masterpieces. Now it’s the setting for one. Filmed in one continuous ninety-minute steadicam shot, our subjective point-of-view is that of an invisible time travelling filmmaker (voiced by director Sokurov) who guides us through a spellbinding journey of 300 years of Russian history. Easy to dismiss as, quite literally, ‘arthouse’ or a mere exercise in technical virtuosity, ‘Russian Ark’ transcends such criticisms to be a complex, playful inquest into history and finally a heartbreaking (the climactic ballroom scene will make you weep) farewell to the ghosts of the past. A true work of art.
* * * * * (five stars)
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