Screening and Discussion of Film 'Russian Ark' in Russian with Dr. Benjamin Rifkin

Alexander Sokurov's 2002 film Russian Ark is a cinematic masterpiece: a 99-minute film, it consists of just one shot.  The action starts, the single camera rolls, and there are no edits. Filmed on the winter solstice in the Hermitage, the Tsar's Winter Palace in St. Petersburg which is also a museum of western art collected by the imperial family for over 200 years, Russian Ark is film featuring hundreds of professional actors and over 1,000 extras, including an appearance by the orchestra and conductor of the Marinsky Theater of St. Petersburg (once known as the Kirov Theater, this is Petersburg's equivalent of the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow or the Grand Opera in Paris) and appearances by the current and former director of the Hermitage Museum. Characters in the film depict Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, and Nicholas the II, among some of the Tsars, as well as notable figures in Russian culture, such as Alexander Pushkin, "Russia's Shakespeare".  

The logistics of making the film were extraordinary: items removed from the museum galleries to make each room fit the time period depicted (including lighting in the room), make-up artists around the corner to give touch ups to the actors out of view of the camera, authentic costumes, and even the tableware of Catherine the Great.

Our event will begin with brief remarks by Dr. Benjamin Rifkin, professor of Russian, to help orient viewers to watching a film without scene cuts. Then we will all watch the film (in Russian with English subtitles) together. 

Hofstra is providing a free viewing link, which will be available to all and sent with the zoom link prior to the event.

During the screening, Dr. Rifkin will periodically post comments to the chat in Zoom, alerting those who wish to see those comments, about the historical and cultural references in the film, and answer questions posed by attendees about the film as it is unfolding.

After the screening, Dr. Rifkin will facilitate a discussion of the film.

Event registration has reached capacity and is closed

 Event registration has reached capacity and is closed

Saturday, February 20, 2021





Zoom - Please Register for the Link
Zoom, NY


Benjamin Rifkin

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