mike@projection-booth.com mike@projection-booth.com

April 26, 2016

Episode 268: Hard to Be a God (2013)

Special Guest: Daniel Bird
Guest Co-Host: Carol Borden, Travis Crawford

Based on a book by the Strugatsky Brothers, Hard to Be a God is a three hour medieval sci-fi film from Aleksei German wherein the inhumanity of man comes to the fore.

The material was also the source of Peter Fleischmann's 1989 film Es ist nicht leicht ein Gott zu sein. Both films inform the discussion this week with Travis Crawford and The Cultural Gutter's Carol Borden.

Download Episode Now:

Hear more of Travis Crawford on the Supporting Characters podcast.

Buy Hard to Be a God (2013) on Blu-Ray
Buy the Arrow Films version of Hard to Be a God
Buy Hard to Be a God by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
Be sure to visit the Cultural Gutter

"Rumata & Pampa (The Ride)" - Jurgen Fritz
"Hard to Be a God" - Grant Stevens



  1. PLEASE MIKE, cover Dorothea's Revenge, it's one of my favorite films <3!!!
    Here's a compilation playlist we made for our cineclub, hope you enjoy it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dE-aS1_VM8&list=PLj0O_d9TQuX_QcnjJTeEgXADPFI7DLlE_

    Loved this episode, I like both films, but for diametrically different reasons. I find Fleishmann´s film very enjoyable, kitsch and fun, while German´s is a unique, harsh and immersive masterpiece.

    1. Planning to cover Dorothea one of these days. Been trying to reach Fleischmann for years now.

  2. What a great episode!!

    As a Czech subtitle projectionist at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, I had the (dis)pleasure of seeing German's "Hard to Be a God" on the big screen twice in two days. I love and hated it the same both times. It reminded me of another strangely manic and claustrophobic Russian film I saw there the year before: Alexander Sokurov's "Faust".

    Btw. if you are interested in Czech cinema, I must recommend "The Cremator" by Juraj Herz - a movie gem from the new-wave era and one of the best horror movies ever made. Once I saw it projected at the Pardubice Crematorium where it was shot in 1969 and was treated with traditional Czech wreath- and coffin-shaped pastries afterwards. Unforgettable!

  3. Definitely going to be covering more Czech film in the future. Covering Valerie and her Week of Wonders in a few months and planning to cover The Cremator next year or 2018 with others in-between.

    Than you so much for your kind words!

  4. You should check out Marketa Lazarova https://www.criterion.com/films/27876-marketa-lazarova (the film that came to mind when I watched Hard To Be a God) - great episode and have been enjoying/appreciating Daniel Bird's insights on Possession, Dybbuk and this film

    1. Will be covering Marketa Lazarova in 2018's Czechtember series. Stay tuned!