Hard to Be a God

Release Date: 7th September 2015
Format: Blu-ray
Starring: Gali Abaydulov, Yuriy Ashikhmin, Remigijus Bilinskas
Directed by: Aleksei German



Synopsis: A group of scientists visits the distant planet Arkanar, and discovers a society still trapped in its own medieval era. Unable to interfere with the course of its history, they can only watch in mounting horror as all sparks of intelligent and independent thought are mercilessly snuffed out by Arkanar’s cruel rulers. Will they remain enmired in their squalid existence for ever, or can the visitors subtly nudge the more open-minded in the right direction? Truly, it’s hard to be a god.

Legendary Russian sci-fi authors Arkady and Boris Strugatsky (whose Roadside Picnic was filmed as Stalker by Andrei Tarkovsky) wrote the source novel, and adapting it was director Aleksei German’s dream project for decades. It would take six years of shooting, a further six of post-production and a posthumous premiere before his masterpiece was finally unveiled.

But masterpiece it is: a visually astonishing, almost tactile recreation of an unnervingly recognisable alternative universe, drenched in blood, mud and the tears of the oppressed.


  • High Definition (1080p) presentation
  • Original Russian soundtrack
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Exclusive interview with Aleksei German Jr, who completed his father’s film after his death
  • Interview with co-screenwriter Svetlana Karmalita, the director’s widow
  • The History of the Arkanar Massacre, an appreciation of the film by Daniel Bird
  • The Unknown Genius: Michael Brooke looks at Aleksei German’s creatively dazzling but politically hobbled career
  • Imagery gallery
  • Trailer
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Andrzej Klimowski (to be revealed)

    Region: Free
    Rating: TBC
    Cat No: FCD1145
    Duration: 170 mins
    Language: Russian
    Subtitles: English
    Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
    Audio: 5.1
    Discs: 1