Русский ковчег (Russian Ark)
The Russian Ark (Русский ковчег) is a 2000 Russian film directed by Alexander Sokurov. Undaunted by the fact that it was filmed using a single 96-minute Steadicam sequence shot, this magnificient film displays 33 rooms of the museum, which are filled with a cast of over 2,000 actors!
An unnamed narrator, unseen by the audience and voiced by the director, wanders through the Winter Palace (now the main building of Russian State Hermitage Museum) in Saint Petersburg. The narrator implies that he has died in some horrible accident and is a ghost drifting through the palace. In each room, he encounters various real and fictional people from various time periods in the city’s three-hundred-year history.
The climax of the film is a grand ball, featuring music by Mikhail Glinka, with many hundreds of participants in spectacular period costume, and a full orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev, followed by a long final exit with a crowd down the Grand Staircase of the palace.
The narrator then leaves the building through a side exit and in a digitally enhanced sequence, the building is represented as an ark preserving Russian culture, and floating in the sea.