Thursday, March 12

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Hard to Be a God

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Exclusive Premiere Screenings March 11 & 12!

HARD TO BE A GOD / Трудно быть богом (2013) dir Aleksey German w/Leonid Yarmolnik [170 min; DCP; in Russian with English subtitles]
When legendary Russian auteur Aleksei German died in 2013, he left behind this extraordinary final film, a phantasmagoric adaptation of the revered sci-fi novel by the Strugatsky brothers (authors of the source novel for Tarkovsky’s Stalker). HARD TO BE A GOD began percolating in German’s consciousness in the mid-1960s, and would actively consume him for the last 15 years of his life. Happily, he brought the film close enough to completion for his wife and son to apply the finishing touches immediately after his passing. Taking place on the planet Arkanar, which is in the midst of its own Middle Ages, the film focuses on Don Rumata, one of a group of earth scientists who have been sent to Arkanar with the proviso that they must not interfere in the planet’s political or historical development. Treated by the planet’s natives as a kind of divinity, Don Rumata is both godlike and impotent in the face of its chaos and brutality.

3½ of 4 Stars “Bizarre, freakish, debased, and endless, this is a world that would have impressed Pasolini, Fellini, or Jodorowsky.” – Peter Keough, The Boston Globe

“Beautiful, brilliant… Like a message from a different time.” – Olaf Möller, Cinemascope

“A masterpiece.” – Calum Marsh, Village Voice

NYT Critics’ Pick “‘Hard to Be a God’ is a cinematic plunge into the warp, weft and squelch of another time.” – Nicolas Rapold, The New York Times

New Left Review: “Alexei German… was an uncompromising perfectionist who made dense, difficult films. He was also, argues Andrei Kartashov, the most important Russian filmmaker of his generation.”


“Hard to be a god: will Alexei German’s long-awaited final film secure his place among the greats?” The Calvert Journal
“Time Unfrozen: The Films of Aleksei German” New Left Review

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