Home > Hard to be a God

Hard to be a God

Based on the book by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, whose Roadside Picnic was the basis for Tarkovsky’s Stalker, Hard to Be a God is a bleak medieval fantasia, although ostensibly it’s science fiction, since it takes place on another planet. The setting is the city of Arkanar, on a humanoid-inhabited planet where life resembles Europe’s Middle Ages. Existence there is brutal, messy, and grim: the rain-battered streets are covered in mud, as is just about every available surface, including many inhabitants’ faces; the place is governed by a brutal slob named Don Reba (Aleksandr Chutko); and the streets are thronged with soldiers, thugs, peasantry, and assorted grimacing idiots in various stages of disfigurement and/or derangement. Arkanar is currently in the grip of a campaign to suppress art, culture, and knowledge of any kind, and is patrolled by militia known as the Greys – about to be succeeded by an even more brutal monastic warrior order, the Blacks.