Hard to Be a God (2013 film)

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Hard to Be a God
Hard to Be a God (2013 film) POSTER.jpg
Directed by Aleksei German
Produced by Lenfilm
Written by Aleksei German
Svetlana Karmalita
Starring Leonid Yarmolnik
Release dates
  • November 13, 2013 (2013-11-13) (Rome Film Festival)
Country Russia
Czech Republic
Language Russian

Hard to Be a God (Russian: Трудно быть богом, translit. Trudno byt' bogom) is a 2013 Russian science fiction film directed by Aleksei German, based on the novel Hard to Be a God by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky.


A group of scientists travel from Earth to the planet Arkanar, a planet similar to Earth but which is "about eight hundred years behind in history, still trapped in the Dark Ages".[1] Don Rumata, one of the scientists, is disgusted by cruelties he observes on an everyday basis but is prohibited by his superiors from interfering and possibly changing the natural course of history of the planet. The only thing the historians have a right to do is to protect and help a select few individuals who seem to be different from everybody else and can benefit the entire planet through their knowledge and ideas. Rumata has to find one of these people, Budakh, and rescue him from the hands of Don Reba, a grey cardinal ruling for a weak king and later, an insane tyrant.


Filming began in the autumn of 2000 in the Czech Republic and continued off-and-on for a period of several years, ending in August 2006 at the Lenfilm studios in Saint Petersburg, Russia. After the lengthy editing and post-production stage,[2] the film was premiered at the 2013 Rome Film Festival (out of competition).

The film was reported have been renamed to The History of the Arkanar Massacre (Russian: История арканарской резни).[3] The press has also mentioned the alternative title The Carnage in Arkanare,[4] and a film script published under the title "What said the tobacconist from Tobacco Street".

Later the title was changed back to Hard to Be a God.[5]


Reception of the film in Russian media was mixed.[6]


  • Leonid Yarmolnik – Don Rumata
  • Dmitri Vladimirov
  • Laura Pitskhelauri
  • Aleksandr Ilyin – Arata
  • Yuri Tsurilo – Don Pampa
  • Yevgeni Gerchakov – Budakh
  • Aleksandr Chutko – Don Reba
  • Oleg Botin – Bucher
  • Pyotr Merkuryev



  • German, Aleksei; Svetlana Karmalita (2006). "Что сказал табачник с Табачной улицы" и другие киносценарии (in Russian). St. Peterburg: Amfora; Seans. p. 720. ISBN 5-367-00232-3. 

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