Hollywood isn’t the only film community working with the revitalized Soviet movie industry. The science-fiction epic “Hard to Be a God,” the first West German-Soviet co-production, is wrapping up post-production this week in Munich. According to German producer-director Peter Fleischmann, it has been anything but an easy road: five years of setting up the project, pre-production and production--and a $16.6-million budget. There was one other small problem too: the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster, which was only 90 miles away from the Dovzhenko Studios, the initial site of principal photography for “Hard to Be a God.” Other inconveniences: killing Soviet winters, temperamental (and unidentified) American actors, and the language barrier (Fleischmann, who speaks no Russian, couldn’t communicate directly with his mostly Soviet crew). The 132-minute color film will have its premiere on July 27, 1989, probably simultaneously in the Soviet Union and West Germany. No word yet on an American distributor.
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