Archive of films Hard to Be God / Dur d'être dieu

Switzerland / Russia
2012, 67 min

Section: Documentary Films - Competition
Year: 2012

Kostomarov and Cattin (The Mother at KVIFF 2008) record the ten-year, as yet unfinished, shooting of the new film by Russian director Aleksei German, Sr. based on a novel by the Strugatsky brothers. This is a powerful look at a particular place with its own particular rules, a portrait not only of a renowned and uncompromising creator, but of his country as well.


Almost 75 years of age, Alexei German is one of the greatest living Russian directors. He is well-known not only for his despotic behaviour on set, but also for his incredible precision. Perhaps this is also the reason he has only made four films to date (e.g. My Friend Ivan Lapshin and Khrustalyov, My Car!). Production on his latest film, this time based on the novel by the Strugatsky brothers, Hard to Be God (Trudno byt bogom), has been ongoing for more than ten years. Directing duo Cattin and Kostomarov (The Mother – screened at Karlovy Vary in 2008) were given permission to move about freely on set with two cameras while German was shooting his film, and during breaks they talked to the man himself. This suggestive glimpse into a specific environment with its own rules, from which the filmmakers were able to capture the essence of truth during the creative process, is a portrait not only of a celebrated and uncompromising artist, but of his country as well.

About the director

Antoine Cattin (b. 1975, Saignelégier, Switzerland) studied history, film and Russian language at the University of Lausanne, graduating in 2001. He worked in Russia as an assistant director to Sergei Loznitsa, among others. He currently works with Pavel Kostomarov. Their joint film The Mother (2007) was screened in the doc competition at KVIFF 2008. Pavel Kostomarov (b. 1975, Moscow) studied cinematography at VGIK (2003). As a cameraman he has worked with eminent Russian filmmakers (Sergei Loznitsa, Vitaly Mansky, Alexei Uchitel and Alexei Popogrebsky). He received a Special Mention for his work on Loznitsa’s The Settlement at KVIFF 2001. Two years ago he won a Silver Bear at the Berlin IFF for his camerawork on Popogrebsky’s film How I Ended This Summer.


Les Films Hors-Champ
Grand’Rue 41A, 1373, Chavornay
Tel: +41 215 503 640
E-mail: [email protected]

About the film

International premiere

Section: Documentary Films - Competition
Director: Antoine Cattin, Pavel Kostomarov
Screenplay: Antoine Cattin
Dir. of Photography: Antoine Cattin, Pavel Kostomarov
Editor: Antoine Cattin
Producer: Elena Hill
Production: Les Films Hors-Champ
Contact: Les Films Hors-Champ


Antoine Cattin

Film Director, Film Director

Elena Hill



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