Russian Ark DVD - 2002 Russian film directed by Aleksandr Sokurov. 2000 Actors. 300 years of Russian History. 33 Rooms at the Hermitage Museum. 3 Live Orchestras. 1 Single Continuous Shot. 19th century French aristocrat, notorious for his scathing memoirs about life in Russia, travels through the Russian State Hermitage Museum and encounters historical figures from the last 200+ years.
Told in one fluid shot, a tale which floats like a dreamlike journey through the majestic spaces of the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, engaging real and imagined characters from Russian and European history. The nameless protagonist, a 19th-century French diplomat, guides the audience through a lost, sumptuous dream that was the Enlightenment period. The film, staged among some of the Western Art tradition's greatest masterpieces, climaxes in a pageant of color, motion, and music. For Sokurov, the Hermitage--home to generations of Romonovs and repository of so much Russian history--is the ark of the Russian soul, guarding it affectionately until the world sees better days. Unrated, 96 minutes.