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PEOPLE . PLACES

Winter in St. Petersburg

45' (GER)
St. Petersburg is the northernmost multi-million metropolis in the world. Its name rings proud – not just to Russian ears. But the imperial façade is crumbling; the city’s true face is hiding behind it.

For almost two centuries, St. Petersburg was the capital of the Russian Empire. Tsar Peter the Great founded the city (also referred to as the “Window to the West”) in 1703. The film tells of the people in St. Petersburg, of the inhabitants of the shoddy kommunalkas – communal apartments, where up to 16 families share a hall, bathroom and kitchen. And of the newly rich who stage expensive balls in former royal palaces.

Valery and Vjatcheslav are two faces of St. Petersburg. Valery is staging expensive balls in former royal palaces costing colossal sums. Whereas Vjatcheslav is totally different. An unusual Orthodox priest, open, tolerant. He has the courage to criticise the powerful. Magnificent church services are not enough for him: he dedicates himself to the poor on the edges of the city.  A city which fascinates with its splendour. And is particularly splendid when the sun sets and the inhabitants get together in their flats. For the grand joint New Year’s meal, for example, one of the few traditions which give people stability and hope in today’s Russia.

Fotos: ©WDR

Original Title: Winter in St. Petersburg - Glanz und Schatten einer Metropole
Year: 2015
Length: 45' (GER)
Resolution: HD
Film by: Juri Rescheto, Johanna Holzhauer
Produced by: WDR, MDR

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