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The Prisoner of St Petersburg

1h 18m Drama, Australia, Australian 1989

A disoriented Australian visitor in West Berlin confuses all he meets by refusing to speak anything but Russian.

A drama about a disturbed young man whose reality shifts between the present and the past — specifically the worlds of the great Russian writers Gogol and Dostoyevsky, and the deserted streets of Berlin by night, The ‘prisoner’ of St Petersburg is Jack (Noah Taylor), who arrives in Berlin penniless, dazed and confused, armed only with quotes from his literary heroes and a head full of delusions.

Upon meeting two young women, the enigmatic Elena (Solveig Dommartin) and the sad-eyed Johanna (Katja Teichmann), the three of them spend a long night wandering the streets of Berlin in search of many things, eventually escaping from their personal hells and private prisons.

Directed by Ian Pringle (Wrong World, Isabelle Eberhardt), The Prisoner of St Petersburg is an understated and austere, brooding urban drama shot on location in West Berlin in 1988. Recommended for fans of Wim Wenders, Jim Jarmusch and Jean-Luc Goddard.


Noah Taylor (Jack) , Solveig Dommartin (Elena)


Ian Pringle




Germany, Australia

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