Hard to Be a God

Hard to Be a God

Release Date



  • Aleksey German


  • Natalya Moteva
  • Aleksandr Chutko
  • Evgeniy Gerchakov

Scientists are sent to the planet Arkanar to help a medieval civilization and rescue intellectuals.

Russian director Aleksei German’s sci-fi epic follows a group of scientists sent to the planet Arkanar to help the local civilization—which is in the medieval phase of its own history and oppressed by a brutal religion—find the right path to progress. Their task is a difficult one: they cannot interfere violently and in no case can they kill. Scientist Don Rumata (Leonid Yarmolnik) tries to save the local intellectuals from their punishment and cannot avoid taking a position. Treated by the planet's natives as a kind of divinity, Rumata discovers he is both godlike and impotent in the face of chaos and brutality.

Past Programs


The Intersection of Science and Religion

Indiana University Cinema, Bloomington, IN