Biblioteca JB

Russian Ark

Russian Ark (Russian: Русский ковчег, Russkij Kovcheg) is a 2002 historical drama film directed by Alexander Sokurov.

On a winter's day, a small party of men and women arrive by horse-drawn carriage to a manor, side entrance of the Winter Palace. The narrator (whose point of view is always in first-person) meets another spectral but visible outsider, "the European", and follows him through numerous rooms of the palace. Each room manifests a different period of Russian history, but the periods are not in chronological order.
 
Featured are Peter the Great harassing one of his generals; a spectacular presentation of operas and plays in the era of Catherine the Great; an imperial audience in which Tsar Nicholas I is offered a formal apology by the Shah of Iran for the death of Alexander Griboedov, an ambassador; the idyllic family life of Tsar Nicholas II's children; the ceremonial changing of the Palace Guard; the museum's director whispering the need to make repairs during the rule of Joseph Stalin; and a desperate Leningrader making his own coffin during the 900-day siege of the city during World War II.
 
A grand ball follows, featuring music by Mikhail Glinka, with many of the participants in spectacular period costume, and a full orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev, then a long final exit with a crowd down the grand staircase.
 
The narrator then walks backwards out the hallway and sees many different people dressed in different clothing from different time periods. The narrator then leaves the building through a side exit and sees an endless ocean, but does not look back or see the building, which can be interpreted as an ark preserving Russian culture as it floats in the sea of time.
 
Clasificación [ CM DVD 00494] Disponible en DVD, 4 Piso BJB)