Archive of films Hard to Be God / Trudno byt bogom

2013, 170 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2014

Great Russian filmmaker Alexey German spent thirteen years working on an adaptation of the Strugatsky brothers’ sci-fi novel Hard to Be a God and, after his death in February 2013, it was completed by his wife Svetlana Karmalita and son Alexey. A team of scientists is sent out to the planet Arkanar (still stuck in the Middle Ages) in order to set the local population on the right path to future development – but they are not to use violence. Their task proves almost impossible.…


A group of scientists is sent to the planet Arkanar to help its people – living in a period equivalent to the Middle Ages – on the right path to future development. Their task isn’t easy: the scientists are not to violently interfere in any conflicts and they must not kill under any circumstances. One member of the team, Rumata, tries to save the local intelligentsia but, in doing so, is unable to avoid taking part in the inevitable hostility. Nor can he avoid a certain question: What would you do if you were God? Alexey German, one of Russia’s greatest  filmmakers, based his last film on the sci-fi novel by the Strugatsky brothers. Having spent the majority of his life fighting to maintain his position in the Soviet film industry, he worked on the movie for thirteen years and, after his death in February 2013, it was completed by his wife and his son Alexey, also a film director. "This is not a film about cruelty, but about love. A love that was there, tangible, alive; a love that resisted through the hardest of conditions,” says Svetlana Karmalita, the director’s wife, who collaborated on the script of this challenging, almost three-hour-long work with a clear, allegorical message.

About the director

Alexey German

Alexey German (1938, Leningrad – 2013, St Petersburg) studied film direction at the Leningrad Institute of Theatre, Music and Cinematography (1960). He gave his debut in 1971 with an adaptation of a story by his father Yuri German entitled Trial on the Road (premiered in 1985). Audiences had the opportunity to see his second effort Twenty Days without War (1976) before his first film went into distribution. He adapted another tale written by his father in 1982, My Friend Ivan Lapshin (premiered in 1985), awarded the Bronze Leopard at the Locarno IFF in 1986. In 1990 German founded and headed SPIEF (Studio of First and Experimental Film). He spent the years 1991–98 putting together his film about the celebrated surgeon general, Khrustalyov, My Car! Few Russian filmmakers have had to struggle so relentlessly with Soviet censorship and production setbacks. He has also appeared in a number of films as an actor.


Capricci Films
103 rue Sainte Catherine, 33 000, Bordeaux
Tel: +33 535 545 189
E-mail: [email protected]

About the film

Black & white, DCP

Section: Horizons
Director: Alexey German
Screenplay: Svetlana Karmalita, Alexey German podle románu / based on the novel by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky
Dir. of Photography: Vladimir Ilyin, Yuri Klimenko
Music: V. Lebedev
Editor: Irina Gorokhovskaya, Maria Amosova
Producer: Viktor Izvekov, Rushan Nasibulin
Production: Studio Sever
Coproduction: Russia 1 TV Channel
Cast: Leonid Yarmolnik, Aleksandr Chutko, Yuriy Tsurilo, Evgeniy Gerchakov
Contact: Capricci Films


Alexandr Bykov



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