The film was made along the lines of the eponymous story of the outstanding science fiction writers, the Strugatsky brothers. The plot unfolds on a planet with medieval mores: wars, gangs, and the struggle for power over people affected by the most terrible disease on the planet: ignorance. Earth sends progressive observers to the planet who should turn the young civilization’s history into a peaceful one. This story can be understood as fantasy and a black satire on Soviet history, as well as a philosophical statement.
Work behind the lens started in the 1990s and continued for more than fifteen years. The main character’s actor, Leonid Yarmolnik, explains: “Why was it filmed for so long? Because he thought, ‘did I think this up right, was everything thought out right?". In February 2013, German the elder died. The director’s friends and family continued work on the film.
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