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Hard to Be a God

Trudno Byt’ Bogom

Russia | 2013 | 170 minutes | Aleksei German

A group of Earth scientists live in secret among the barbaric citizens of Arkanar, a distant planet stuck in the Dark Ages. Based on the 1964 sci-fi bestseller by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky.

May 16, 2014
SIFF Cinema Uptown Festival  
8:30 PM Date has passed
May 17, 2014
SIFF Cinema Uptown Festival  
2:00 PM Date has passed
May 24, 2014
Lincoln Square Cinemas  
1:00 PM Date has passed
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The last masterpiece of Russian film director Alexei German is not for the faint of heart: a sci-fi drama like a black and white medieval painting, lucid, gory, and brutish; think Hieronymus Bosch. Based on the 1964 Russian science fiction fantasy novel of the same name by brothers and writing partners Arkady and Boris Strugatsky (Stalker), the film takes place on the distant planet Arkanar, which is under a feudal regime identical to that of earth 800 years ago. The protagonist, Don Rumata (Leonid Yarmolnik), is part of a group of enlightened operatives from Earth who are doomed to live with and behave like the locals on Arkanar. They are little more than observers forbidden to get involved or interfere. Highly respected director German was a surviving master of Soviet cinematography and Hard to Be a God was his sixth film, 14 years in the making. Although German died in February 2013 when the film was in its final stages, co-writer and wife Svetlana Karmalita and their son, film director Alexei German, Jr. (The Last Train), finished the director’s unforgettable magnum opus.

Director Biography

Alexei German (1938, Leningrad/St. Petersburg), son of the Russian writer Yuri German, graduated in 1961 from the Alexander Ostrovsky Institute for Dramatic Arts Theatre in Leningrad. His films (Trial on the Road, My Friend, Ivan Lapshin, Get my Car!) were often the subject of state censorship due to his critical stance against authority.

Director: Aleksei German
Principal Cast: Leonid Yarmolnik, Aleksandr Chutko, Yuriy Tsurilo, Evgeniy Gerchakov
Premier Status: North American Premiere
Country: Russia
Year: 2013
Running Time: 170 minutes
Producer: Viktor Izvekov, Rushan Nasibulin
Screenplay: Aleksei German, Svetlana Karmalita
Cinematographers: Vladimir Ilyin, Yuri Klimenko
Editors: Irina Gorokhovskaya, Maria Amosova
Music: V. Lebedev
Filmography: Khrustalyov, My Car! (1998); My Friend Ivan Lapshin (1984); Twenty Days Without War (1976); Trial on the Road (1971); The Seventh Companion (1967)
Language: Russian
HasSubTitles: Yes
Format: DCP
International Sales: Capricci Films
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