Russian Ark

Synopsis: An unseen man regains consciousness, not knowing who or where he is. No one seems to be able to see him, except the mysterious man dressed in black. He eventually learns through their discussions that this man is a 19th century French aristocrat, who he coins the "European". This turn of events is unusual as the unseen man has a knowledge of the present day. The two quickly learn that they are in the Winter Palace of the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, the European who has a comprehensive knowledge of Russian history to his time. As the two travel through the palace and its grounds, they interact with people from various eras of Russian history, either through events that have happened at the palace or through the viewing of artifacts housed in the museum. Ultimately, the unseen man's desired journey is to move forward, with or without his European companion.
Director(s): Aleksandr Sokurov
Production: Wellspring Media
  10 wins & 15 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
99 min

Russian Ark

I open my eyes and I see nothing.

I only remember

there was some accident.

Everyone ran for safety

as best they could.

I just can't remember

what happened to me.

How strange. Where am I?

Marie, I must tell you something.

Judging by the clothes,

this must be the 1800s.

Where are they rushing to?

What if we are denied entry?

I've never been so frightened!

Don't forget,

the girl in white is mine.

Where are you all going?

It's cold! Close the doors!


Move ahead!

I went looking

for the right way to go.

Those officers don't know the way.

Can it be that I'm invisible?

Or have I simply gone unnoticed?

Can it be?

Has all this been staged for me?

Am I expected to play a role?

What kind of play is this?

Let's hope it's not a tragedy.

What does it all mean?

- Where should we go?

- Maybe here?

No, it's there.

That man in black...

he wanders about, too.

He nods to me but goes away.

Pardon me for speaking

before we've been properly introduced.

What city is this?

What city? Well,

everyone speaks russian.

I so hoped this was chambord

during the directoire period.

- What language are we speaking?

- Russian.


How strange!

I never knew russian before.

What are they doing in there?

Shall we enter?

- Where? There?

- Yes, something is going on.

No, I have to find out

what on earth I am doing here.

These wanderings about,

this knowing russian...

I want to leave.

Your curiosity is not amusing.

Could all this be theatre?


Our paths must part.


You have answered all my questions.

- Farewell then.

- Where does this door lead to?

What a pity.

We will never meet again.

He was obviously a foreigner.

Why would he be so rude otherwise?

It's best...

not to get involved in this.

Let's not disturb them.

In any case, it's much too late.

Sir, sir! I'm here.

My russian cicerone!

Do you know the way?

- Yes, let's go together.

- This is your country.

Yes, but not my century.

How did I come to be here?

I think I saw peter the great.

I hear delight in your voice.

Was it interesting?

Yes, very interesting.


In asia, tyrants are adored.

The more terrible the tyrant,

the more his memory is cherished.

Alexander the great, timur...

and your peter the great.

You're wrong about peter.

He taught russians

to enjoy themselves.

A spiral staircase.

Where has everyone disappeared to?

I see. But why?

What's so interesting up there?

You'll see...

peter ordered his son's execution.

The same man who taught the people

to enjoy life. How funny!

I thought you knew

where we were going.

He built a european city

over a swamp.

He introduced order

of the most primitive kind.

- Where are they going?

- But the city is still european!

To a party.

But why the back staircase?

They were taught to have fun.

So they go to parties.

And the officer and the lady?

- At the party.

- Where are they?

They've gone to the underworld.

Down, down, down!

And they are no more.

Be careful.

The stairs are steep and dark.

Thank you. I can see.

Do you see where we are?

No, I don't know yet.

Sir, be careful!

Don't betray our presence.

No need to remind me.

Do not forget I brought you here.

Please don't get involved

in anything.

And you, do not get too close

to the actors.

Bend towards me.

You are beautiful.

- Do you remember?

- Yes.


- Why are you pushing me?

- Don't scratch me!

- Why is she pushing me?

- You are pushing, too.

What an impressive orchestra!

They must be europeans!

No, they're russian musicians.

No, europeans!


They're russians, for god's sake!


I say it's good.

Very good!

I need to piss!

I can't hold it in anymore!

No, no, don't, don't...

ah! Yes, yes.

Sir, sir!

Don't yell!

- Where are you?

- Here. It's only Catherine the great.

Follow me!

I love the 18th century.

A time of genius and manners.

I would have to agree with you.

- Never contradict me.

- Very well.

Where's the empress? Gone!

Russia is like a theatre. A theatre.


I think I know where we are.

How pretentious they are!

Don't lag behind, sir.

I'm not.

I think we're speaking too loudly.

No matter.

They're completely deaf.

I'm careful.

I won't touch anyone.

Theatre... what actors!

And those costumes!

Thank you, sirs. Thank you.

They can't see me.

This seems like the vatican.

Is that where we are?

Those reliefs are painted,

are they not?

What naturalism!

Weren't those decorations inspired

by raphael's sketches?

Raphael, yes.

Better than the vatican.

This is saint petersburg.

So they're copies?

Your authorities don't trust

your own artists.

Russians are so talented at copying!


Because you don't

have ideas of your own.

Your authorities don't want you

to have them.

In fact, they are as lazy

as all the rest of you.


There was a painting gallery here.

- On the upper floor.

- With 111 italian paintings.

- But not the best masters.

- Not the best.

The Tsars were mainly russophiles.

But sometimes

even they dreamed of italy.

Wasn't the hermitage created

to satisfy those dreams?

- Raphael isn't for you.

- Not for us.

- For italy.

- Italy.

- It's warm there!

- Warm.

What beauty!

The small italian gallery...

who are these people?

Of which milieu are they?

Do you see that vase?

Yes! Empire style is everywhere.

- And those voronikhine lamps.

Rate this script:0.0 / 0 votes

Boris Khaimsky

All Boris Khaimsky scripts | Boris Khaimsky Scripts

0 fans

Submitted on August 05, 2018

Discuss this script with the community:



    Translate and read this script in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:


    "Russian Ark" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 22 Apr. 2024. <>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!

    Watch the movie trailer

    Russian Ark


    The Studio:

    ScreenWriting Tool

    Write your screenplay and focus on the story with many helpful features.