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Es ist nicht leicht ein Gott zu sein (1989)

Another planet in the period of medieval times. An employee of the institute of experimental history from Earth, who is send under the name of noble don Rumata of Estor as a spy with a ... See full summary »

Director:

Peter Fleischmann
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4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Edward Zentara ... Rumata / Anton
Aleksandr Filippenko ... Reba
Hugues Quester ... Suren
Anne Gautier Anne Gautier ... Kyra
Christine Kaufmann ... Okana
Andrei Boltnev ... Budach
Pierre Clémenti ... King
Mikhail Gluzskiy ... Hauk (as Michail Glusski)
Elguja Burduli ... Baron Pampa (as Elgudzha Burduli)
Birgit Doll Birgit Doll ... Anka
Werner Herzog ... Mita / Richard
Regimantas Adomaitis ... Richard Kondor - a historian and scientist
Werner Hess Werner Hess
Thomas Schücke ... John
Arnis Licitis ... Don Ripat
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Storyline

Another planet in the period of medieval times. An employee of the institute of experimental history from Earth, who is send under the name of noble don Rumata of Estor as a spy with a mission to contact the local resident of the institute, arrives in the city of Arkanar. But the resident perishes under an unlucky attempt to make a palace coup, and Rumata have to take his place as the resident. Soon he meets all the horrors of the medieval society - a peasant war, palace coups, mass executions. To continue to be an indifferent watcher of all these horrors turns out to be simply impossible... Written by Toth-Amon

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Wenn Macht zur Ohnmacht wird und Wissen zum Fluch...


Certificate:

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Details

Language:

German

Release Date:

7 August 1991 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Hard to Be a God See more »

Filming Locations:

Crimea, Ukraine See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Peter Ustinov and Kurt Russell were both announced at various stages of pre-production. See more »

Connections

Version of Hard to Be a God (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Hard To Be A God
Performed by Grant Stevens
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User Reviews

The first film version of the Strugatsky brothers novel
19 July 2015 | by jrd_73See all my reviews

Recently, Aleski German's adaptation of Hard to be a God, a science fiction novel by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, hit DVD and Blu-ray courtesy of Kino Video. Meanwhile, the first adaptation of the novel has remained obscure and hard to see.

For those unfamiliar with the novel or its adaptations, the story concerns a planet similar to Earth that is undergoing its own version of the middle-ages. A group of scientists from Earth are studying the planet. To do so, they are living among the people as if they were natives. The scientists are to remain objective, interacting enough with the King and his court to keep up appearances but not enough to upset the time period. When Don Reba, a rising lord, tries to seize power with the help of the church, one scientist finds it hard to remain objective.

The novel's two film adaptations take very different routes. Aleski German's 2013 adaptation is an art film very concerned with its ambiance. It places the viewer in an unknown world and forces him to decipher it, much like a scientist. This results in a unique, visually striking film but also an often inaccessible motion picture. On the other hand, director Peter Fleischmann's 1989 adaptation is a far more viewer friendly film. It sets up its story and characters in a traditional and easy to follow way. The viewer does not need to be familiar with the source novel to understand the film (something not always true of the Aleski German adaptation). The downside of this approach is that Fleischmann's film seems merely ordinary, unremarkable.

Fleischmann's adaptation follows the Strugatsky novel fairly closely. I don't remember the peasant revolt taking up so much space, and it certainly didn't play into the climax. I was disappointed by this ending because the scientist Rumata never loses himself in the violence the way he does in the novel. An optimism shines through the ending of Fleischmann's Hard to be a God that is absent from both the Strugatsky and Aleski German versions.

Another point of contention is that while the Aleski German adaptation seems timeless, Fleischmann's film shows its era. The desert look and stone walled castles remind one of other fantasy films from that decade (Krull; Hundra). The hero in his white wig calls to mind Connor MacLeod in the Scottish scenes from the first Highlander movie. Finally, the 1989 film has an ill-advised ending theme song (in English) whose chorus bears a passing resemblance to Foreigner's "I Want to Know What Love Is."

Nonetheless, the Peter Fleischmann film is a fair adaptation of the source novel. Fans of the book should be modestly satisfied. Finally,it should be noted that film director Werner Herzog appears at the beginning of the film playing an imprisoned scientist.


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