Kino immer anders

In this film, Alexander Sokurov made a museum his main protagonist. An anonymous contemporary and a french aristocrat of the 19th Century travel together through the Ermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and meet historical figures of the last 300 years. The Ermitage is a place right at the heart of Russian history. Sokurov invites us to experience this history anew as we move through the gorgeous halls of the museum.

The film does not strictly have a narrative, and so watching it is like listening to a piece of music. All that needs to be done is to relax and go with the flow. As the film was captured in a single shot, we feel as if we are walking together with the time-travellers through the museum. Russian Ark is a homage of the director to Russian culture. In one of his interviews, Sokurov lamented the lack of interest Europeans have in Russia, and how Russians know more of Europe than Europeans of Russia. In Russian Ark Sokurov aspires to remedy this situation, and prove once and for all that Russian is the Ark of culture.

Alla Stöckli

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