It has been a long time coming, but 'Hermitage, the Power of Art' finally arrives in Spanish cinemas this November. A great documentary film, so much so that, barring force majeure, it is absolutely essential to see it on the big screen if you want to enjoy it fully.
In accordance with classic cinematic metrics, the film is a full 90 minutes. An hour and a half of authentic tasting of the most emblematic works of the largest museum in the world (66,842 square metres), embedded in the very history of St. Petersburg and of Russia itself.
Under the direction of Michele Mally, we are guided through the immense rooms of the Hermitage by an interpreter equal to the monumentality of the museum: Toni Servillo, four-time winner of the David di Donatello Award, the actor who made his name with films such as 'The Great Beauty' and 'Parrot'. His gestures and voice make it easy to breathe the essence and Baltic spirit of both the Hermitage complex and the city of St. Petersburg.
Such a well-rounded work is based on an original idea by Didi Gnocchi, who is also the screenwriter of the film together with Giovanni Piscaglia. The manuscript was so well received that the film was made with the full collaboration of the State Hermitage Museum itself, and its director, Mikhail Piotrovsky, who takes advantage of one of the moments in which he appears to emphasise that "there are no stolen works here, nor are they exhibited, all their contents are paid for". There are no less than three million pieces, of which only 3% are shown to the visiting public. The first of the works purchased by the museum is "David bidding farewell to Jonathan" by Rembrandt, the great Dutch painter who is widely represented.
Set to the music of Dmitri Myachin, the film establishes a new and exciting way of telling the museum's story, through the centuries-old Russian history and cultural events that led to the development of its collections in the heart of the city created by Peter the Great. The result is a great film documentary dedicated to the city that brought Russia into the Modern Age, to its most emblematic museum, and to the story of the many people who lived there for centuries surrounded by art, literature, music and poetry, and who watched the genesis of the 1917 Revolution, which would completely change the history of the world.