Russian Ark is a true work of genius. According to the capitalist canon, government involvement is the kiss of death for art. But this film is a work of art on a level no American movie has ever achieved (yes, I include Citizen Kane) and it could not have been made without the involvement of the Russian government. (Thousands of actors garbed in gorgeous and intricate costumes.) Like all true art, this film is a powerful catalyst to becoming more deeply absorbed in the human journey. We flit back and forth between centuries of Russian history, bourn on by two protagonists who may be spirits from other times, who are inexplicable moving through the Hermitage as part of their journey. The Hermitage, a museum now, a Czarist palace before, is the one constant throughout those turbulent centuries. The single take technique is more than an amazing logistics achievement. It contributes powerfully to the movie?s strong spiritual feel. Everything changes as we move through time, except for the uninterrupted viewer, who is the immortal soul. The most sublime part of the movie is at the end. Then we understand we have not been watching a movie, but having a compressed experience of the beauty and pathos of life itself. And did I mention, I really liked this movie?