Ballada o Beringe i ego druzyakh (1971) - full transcript

Gorky Film Studio
for Children and Youth Films.

Screenplay by

There was a man.

He wasn't very happy. He was a big man,

smart and strong.
At first he was young.

And in his youth,
he had some misfortunes.

Later on, he had more luck;

he had some victories.

He started to rise.

To rise in his own way. Then,

he called another man and said:

"We've had victories but science
hasn't been formulated yet.

We have an empire,

but we don't know
where its frontiers are.

We know the Asian continent.

But we don't know if
it is near America.

Go and check".

The other man
was also not young.

He wasn't old either,
in our opinion.

He was an ordinary man.

He said: " I will".

They gathered some young seamen
and convict workers, and left.

They went through the biggest country
in the world, which had no roads.

They took with them ropes,
anchors and sails.

They arrived at an unknown sea.

The local inhabitants
called it " Lama",

which in their language
simply meant " sea".

They arrived onto the American shores

and they established the boundaries
of our northern frontier.

They left a remembrance of themselves

in the name of our great country.

Every man, from the highest
ranks to the lowest,

who comes to serve in our fleet,
must beforehand duly take an oath

of his loyalty. Peter I Naval Charter.

I, Dmitry Ovtsyn,

swear to God Almighty
to serve loyally.

His Majesty Peter the Great,

Emperor and Tsar of Russia.

And everywhere and in any situation
I shall guard and protect

the interests of His Majesty
and of His Nation.

I shall notify him
of anything adverse I hear,

and I shall avert all that is harmful,

and I shall do
all that is in favour

of His Majesty and His Nation,
in good and Christian conscience,

without deceits or ruse,

as is required of a good,
honest and loyal man.

As one must answer for
on Judgement Day.

In this may God Almighty help me.

He who takes a mendacious oath
will be punished with the slashing

of his nostrils and he will be
condemned to the galleys for life.

Peter I
Naval Charter.


Hail, Prince lvan.

His Majesty's illness
is becoming worse and worse.

He said himself that by his look
one can understand

how a mortal man
is like a weak animal.

I'm in a rush. I have to take care
of some state affairs.

You must not be late, Mitya.

The Emperor calls for
your masters' committee.

Fyodor Matveyevich.

My bad state of health
forces me to stay home

and to assign to other people
important matters

which are now too arduous for me.

I have now recalled

what I had been compelled to forget

because of numerous other concerns.

Abraham Petrovich.

Bring the maps.

You, Bering...

You have been to India.

You know the naval service.

We need to trace a reliable route

to our lands, to China, and to India.

And this route will go across
our Arctic sea.

It is a great pursuit.

But if such is your command,

then firstly we must trace on the map

the coast of the Arctic sea.

You, Bering, will do it.

As you please, Your Majesty.

You will do it as you want. Try.

You are a zealous man, Bering.

You must do as I ask.

Who made this map?

Midshipman Ovtsyn.
He's here, Your Majesty.



Although you should not
have drawn all these whales.

A whale shouldn't be on a map.
It swims away.

So, midshipman Ovtsyn.

You will go to the Arctic sea
to draw a map

and to check how your whales
are swimming around.

I will, Your Majesty!
I will go by ship.

You're smart.
Who's your instructor?

Of late it's been
lieutenant Chirikov.

So, do you have students?
Do you beat them often?

According to the law, Your Majesty,
twice a week.

But Dmitry Ovtsyn remembers
his lessons very well.

With a whip, he will remember them
even better.

- Isn't it so, midshipman?
- Of course, Your Majesty.

Abraham Petrovich, present him
with my drafting set.

Chirikov, before departure, gather
a dozen fine young men like Ovtsyn

from the Naval Academy.

They will also travel
to the Arctic Sea.

And you, Bering,

when you come back, you will speak of

what you've seen.

I hope I'll live to see that day.

Your Majesty, your days will be long.

But deep concerns and afflictions
have wearied you now.

Take these maps now and go.

It's so difficult.

I'm lying here and I don't know

where the end of my own land is.



It's so difficult.

I can see the end of my life.

I will send a letter
with every dispatch.

You will receive a letter
four times a year.

I understand now that
we will never return to Horsens.


Once more, I will be waiting for you.

Why did you ask to be sent
to such an exile?

In my heart, I will be here,
close to you.

Well, then, Mitya, I'm going.

Take your time. Don't
overindulge. Study.

The Arctic Ocean will teach you
what you don't already know.

God be with you.



Forgive me, Peter.

- You?
- Me.


Spare Aleksashka's life.
Forgive the swindler.

Paper! I will write his pardon!

Give him everything. Everything.

The Emperor

has died.

Everybody! Come here!
The emperor is dead!

What is this?

What are we seeing?

Who are we losing?

What are we going to do?

We are going to bury Peter the Great.

Russia will continue to be

as he has made it.

He has made it the beloved country
of good people.

And it will continue to be beloved.

He has made it frightful
for its enemies.

And it will continue to be frightful.

He has made it glorious
for the whole world!

And it will continue to be glorious.

And it won't cease to be glorious!

Things that were unheard-of
in this century

have been accomplished
in you, Russia.

Construction, navigation, a new fleet!

The whole universe is amazed.

All paths to every end
of the world are open to you.

And your strength and glory
extend to the ocean!

A great man had disappeared.

It seemed that everything had stopped,

that everything would collapse.

People sent by Peter the Great

were travelling to determine
the frontiers of Russia.

Ahead were Tver, Kazan,
the Urals, and Siberia.

In the taiga, they chose the trees

that would be the milestones
and the masts.

People would come to an unknown sea,
to burning mountains,

whose history would then begin.


Written by losif OSIPOV

In cooperation with

Vitus Bering - Karl SEBRIS
Dmitry Ovtsyn - Igor LEDOGOROV.

Alexei Chirikov - Yuri NAZAROV
Georg Steller - Valentin NIKULIN.

Starodubtsev - G. FROLOV

Anna - V. ARTMANE.

Lieutenant Ovtsyn. An urgent letter
has arrived from Saint Petersburg.

Peter I - R. TKACHUK
Catherine I - D. RITENBERGS

Anna loannovna - N.

Her Majesty

the Empress Ekaterina Alexeyevna

died peacefully on May the 6th.

Princess Dolgorukova - V. YEGORENKOVA
Prince Dolgorukov - O. BASSILASVHILI.

With cries ofjoy and
with the jubilation of the people,

Pyotr Alexeyevich,
nephew of Peter the Great,

came to the throne of Russia. Hurrah!

Emperors and empresses changed.

Plans and decisions changed.

In Saint Petersburg sovereigns
changed and people were bustling.

There was neither room nor time

for the expedition dispatched
by Peter the Great.

The ships were sailing.

They went through a channel
that is now called the Bering Strait.

And there, Commodore Bering

saw ice floating towards him.

It was moved by currents and winds
from an unknown sea.

Bering was dismayed by the ice
and said: " We must go back".

And they went back.

But the American land was only
40 versts away, hidden by the mist.

They sailed past the burning
mountains of Kamchatka

and arrived at the frozen coast
of the Sea of Okhotsk.

Lift up the stretchers,
put them in front.

Captain-Lieutenant Chirikov
will lead the crew

in a prayer to give thanks.

They prayed to God,

as Columbus' and Magellan's men did.

It is a very old nautical tradition.

Ahead was Siberia, the Urals,
Kazan, Tver, and Saint Petersburg.

Their expedition was successful,

but it was recorded as a failure

and they were told:
"Go and do everything anew".

So they had to repeat the feat.

And it would take them 20 years.

We need to go to the east, Commodore.

I am sure that is where America is.

Alexei llyich. America...

Lord, there is only ice to be seen.

A peaceful and prosperous life,

health and redemption,

triumphs in all that is good,

and abundance of yields,

oh Lord, give to the pious Emperor.

Pyotr Alexeyevich.

Tell them, Anna has come
to the throne, Anna loannovna.

Yes, I will tell them.

Anna loannovna has come to the throne.


Oh Lord, give a long life

to the pious Empress Anna loannovna.

Prince lvan Alexandrovich?
How did you end up here?

Jumping around until
I jumped into trouble.

I was an officer, an engineer,
and then I was sent to Siberia.

Now I serve the Empress

as the main imperial courtjester.

I've heard about you.

But with your rank and title,
how can you have become a jester?

There is nothing offensive about it.

Prince Bolkonsky is a jester,
Apraksin is a jester.

And there are vacancies.

What are these?


Of course. Whales give blubber.

We need whale oil for lamps.

We can sell it. We will make leather.

But why is there so much water,

such big oceans?

For trade and glory, Your Majesty.

Without water, there is no trade.

What is your request?

Our sailcloth is worn-out.

Do you need a large length?

Five thousand arshins.

Herzog, do we have sailcloth? Yes.

- Give him some.
- We have sold it.

To England, to Holland,
to Sweden, and to France.

They're all at war now.

They all need sails. Fools.

They should use galleys.

Galleys have wooden oars
worked by convicts.

It's good profit.

Listen, whose name is it,
here on the map?

Dmitry Ovtsyn. From the Ryurik family?


Did you see him at
the Dolgorukovs' Yes.

He's confrontational. It would
be better if he weren't alive.

Bering, lvan lvanovich,
where do you have him work?

In the Arctic Ocean.

On the Ob coast.

Would it be possible
to send him off a bit further out?

Further there is nothing but ice.

Mind now, Chirikov,
that this Ovtsyn not work for you.

Yes, Your Majesty.

Well, Sirs, you may go.

Herzog will write the paper
and I will sign.

Your Majesty, the document is ready.
We need the sailcloth by tomorrow.

I have sold it. I pay wages with pelts.

But for sailcloth, I receive gold.

You're a sailor.
You don't know trade.

Then sail.
Russian people are brave.

Now! Play something for our captains.

Yes, Your Majesty.

You can try to make complaints.

It is not without reason that
the empress remembered Ovtsyn.

Mitya is thinking whether or not
it is worth going to Beryozovo.

Katya, the princess, whom I loved
when I was a child.

Katya, the former fiancee
of Emperor Peter II,

is now a prisoner.

Katya is in Beryozovo.
That same Beryozovo

where Prince Menshikov died
and was frozen like a mammoth.

How could I not stop?
Am I a coward?

Or am I an officer?

So he went!

The prison.

I didn't think that
I would see you again.

I thought about you all this time.

Take this for good luck, Mitya.

Now you will always be with me.

Hello, Father. Hello, Major Petrov!

And hello to you, Oska.

Don't call me Oska,
I am an official of the 13th rank.

I am neither defamed
nor under surveillance.

Osip Mikhailovich Tishin,
the departmental secretary.

- Lieutenant Ovtsyn.
- Major Petrov, governor.

What is your news?
Our news is nautical.

We carried out a triangulation.

We tried to go through
the Aniansky channel.

The Father says

that there can't be any channel
between Asia and America.

It is obvious from the Bible.
Which means there is none.

Because it cannot be.

How so? Vitus Bering saw it himself.

He wasn't sent in vain, was he?

Bering was mistaken.

Such a channel cannot exist,
therefore there can never be one.

Even though the Father is in exile,
he studied in Kiev,

and not only Magnitsky's arithmetic.

The channel cannot be,
because man descends from Adam.

In America there are people, and they
could get there only by dry land

and not through some channel
which Bering did not go through.

There's a mountain chain and
it's impossible to go around it.

Talking of the Aniansky channel is
blasphemy and a detraction of faith.

The emperor wanted to show this to
the whole world and sent you fools.

Well, we cannot say this.

We will talk after a clarification
from the Senate and the Synod.

Young people, excuse me,
I have a service tomorrow. It's late.

Don't take offence. We're just
having an informal conversation.

Well, I'm going home.

I'm going as well.

After all, the ship has arrived,
and documents need to be written.

What's wrong?

Nothing, Vanya.

It's just that my stomach...

aches. Has a midwife been called?

I'll go.

you didn't offer your hand.

I am the departmental secretary,

On par with a lieutenant,
according to the ranking chart.

I see.

I know that, although Ovtsyns
aren't princes, they are Ryurikovs.

Whereas I am
a departmental secretary.

But according to the chart,
you have to offer me your hand

because I am a noble.

Ovtsyn navigates the sea,

and you, Sir Tishin,

bother Princess Ekaterina
with ribaldry.

And what if I offered her
my hand and heart?

You should consider
who you are and who she is!

She's a prisoner, though she receives
a rouble a day for her living.

And I have a 13th class rank.

Another rebellious brood
is being born.

We must resign ourselves.

If the fiancee of the Emperor
had become Tishin's wife,

it would be clear to all that the
Dolgorukovs resigned themselves.

And instead you worry about pride
and channels. It's worthless.

Listen, Tishin.
The Dolgorukovs have many relatives.

Don't mock the lady and
don't frighten the prince.

She is a prisoner,
I supervise her.

You're a scoundrel.

You are a scoundrel and a rebel
against God and the Sovereign.

Why have you come
to the house of betrayers?

Everyone is a Dolgorukov here.
So are you!

Treacherous words!
Loyalty to the Sovereign!


Under the decree of the Empress
Anna loannovna

for those exiled in Beryozovo;
Ekaterina, daughter of Dolgorukov,

is to be sent to a monastery
as it is wont.

Prince lvan Alexeyev,
son of Dolgorukov,

as well as lieutenant Ovtsyn,
are to be sent to Tobolsk

and kept under the strictest guard.

Hand it in.

Our horses are out, Sir Chirikov,
and there are no men available.

And the document hasn't been compiled
according to procedure.

The name of the Empress is missing;
it is not depicted in the signature.

Which means that yours
is not a matter of emergency.

The document comes from the Senate.
And you will give us horses.

As for men, convicts
will work for the naval service.

And you will also hand over to us.

Dmitry Ovtsyn.

And for the trouble we will be...

particularly grateful.

There is a particular
and extremely strict decree

which forbids, and makes it
a criminal act,

to cast on the floor money with
the effigy of our August Sovereign,

lest they be trampled on
by an impudent foot.

Pick up the sacred visage
of her Majesty the Empress!

- How was it lying?
- Face up.

Tishin, did you do it for the purpose
of stomping on them?

Call the guard!
This is betrayal!

Osip Mikhailovich confessed.

- To everything.
- Hush! Scoundrel!

Get out!

Get out!

Quiet, quiet, quiet!

So, officer, am I really
some rude fellow?

I was just fanning myself.

I didn't say I would not
carry out your request.

And apart from me, who else
could hand Mitya over to you?

You will give us horses.

Make sure they're well fed.

And some men from
among the prisoners.

Mitya Ovtsyn is a rogue
and a scoundrel.

On the rack, he was defiant.

He's a qualified man and
he's needed for government affairs.

And the prisoners are intended
for the expedition.

Your fur coat is very fine.

Well, if you want, we can exchange
my sable for Ovtsyn.

I've heard that Commodore Bering is
exerting himself to release Ovtsyn.

He will probably be set free.

And you will be left with
somebody else's ring.

How so? Well,

you'll have to give the ring to me.

For the sable.

Alexei llyich, how did you manage
to set me free?

With their own methods,
I forced them to be loyal.

Well, that, and I paid a ransom.

Oh, and let me help you marry
your poor unfortunate.

What happened, Dmitry Leontyevich?

We were arrested because
of Tishin's slander.

Major Petrov, the governor, and me.

Prince lvan was chained
to the wall and tortured.

And under torture,
he told such terrible things.

His wife gave birth very unhappily.

Major Petrov was
beheaded. How about you?

I stood my ground through
several tortures and fire.

I don't know what happened
to Prince lvan.

He was quartered.
His body was put on a wheel.

What about Ekaterina Alexeyevna?

She's in the Voskresensky monastery,
near Novgorod.

Get some sleep, Mitya.
More difficulties are waiting ahead.

People kept going, according
to Peter's will.

The polar region was awoken
from Archangelsk to Kolyma.

Twelve fleet lieutenants

followed rivers flowing north.

And Dmitry Ovtsyn,
a lieutenant in Peter's fleet

and now a seaman,
was among them.

Here a port is being built.

It will be named only
when the ships are launched,

Bering's and Chirikov's
"Saint Peter" and " Saint Paul".


This is Steller.
There is no record of his appearance.

He called himself an adventurer,
but he was a hero.

He arrived in Russia
when he was 25 years old.

He was taught Russian by coachmen
and convict-sailors.

He wrote a book
about Bering's expedition.

He wrote and spoke truthfully
about his new homeland.

He was often arrested
and often released.

He died at 37 years,

charged with protecting Kamchadals.

What's there?

- Am I speaking with Mister Bering?
- Yes.

Georg Steller, graduate in
natural history. I am a botanist.

For some reason I was sent
to your expedition as a physician.

Well, we need a ship's doctor.

But I am not a doctor.
I am a botanist.

In any case the order is correct,

and with all due respect,
you will be our doctor.

But if you reach
and go through America,

and have no scientist,

then you will be like a needle
without a thread.

You will pierce the cloth but
you will not sew it together.

You will see nothing.

You are not very polite
to your superior.

Commodore, maybe
I should go and advise about

the kind of wood we need
in order to make good tar?

I believe that is more important
than politeness now.

- Was he rude?
- What?

Was he rude? Was he offensive?

- Who are you?
- Savva Starodubtsev.

It is me who provided you
with a detachment of 20 carts

and that Lutheran.

Who is he? A German,
a Swede, a Dutch?

Who knows?
He's a foreigner.

From Yakutsk, nobody wanted to bring
him here; they were angry with him.

But God made me travel a lot
and I was held captive.

I taught him to drink vodka.

I caught a rat for him, an ermine.
It lives in his mitten.

He became attached to me.
He says I'm like a father to him.

- He wrote an ode to me.
- An ode?

Fine. I'm like a father to him,
he wrote a poem... Whatever...

But here's what. If it wasn't for me,
you wouldn't have those 20 carts.

And I've also brought you
a letter from Tobolsk.

The messenger died on the way.

Dear Sir and father Vitus lvanovich...

Commodore, you're travelling
to the edges of the world.

Take me on. I don't want to go back.

Why is that?

I am wanted because of
some matter of faith.

Go to the quartermaster Savva,
say I gave the order.

It would be good if you could go
on the flagship, Mitya.

And why not with you?

The Commodore will be able
to protect you better.


The Commodore doesn't object
to you being with us.

Good luck.

Let's go.

In front of you is Delisle's map.

This map is confidential and only now
can you become acquainted with it.

One of the members of our expedition
is Delisle's brother;

the astronomy professor
Louis de la Croyere.

Now some words from him.

Everybody understands that firstly
we need to head to the land

which was once viewed
by Juan de Gama.

Having talked with my brother, I
think there are many treasures there.

The route is...

South-east by east

to 47 degrees of northern latitude.

- There is no land there.
- I know.

Do you remember how
we talked with Ovtsyn?

Why are you just telling me?

It will be useful to everybody
to hear his opinion.

Dear officers, please listen
to Dmitry Ovtsyn's opinion.

He's new with us. Today he's a sailor.

But he used to be a cartographer

serving Peter the Great's purposes.

I hope, dear Sirs, that you will
cooperate as best you can

in order for Ovtsyn to be able
to make his return

among the officers
of the Russian fleet.

Speak, Dmitry. Mitya, careful.

Dear Sirs.

We need to think about
our original plan.

That land is just a fruit
of imagination.

Just as the questionable seafarer
who allegedly discovered it.

Professor, why did you nonetheless
include this land on the map?

This land doesn't need
corroboration. It exists.

There is evidence. Which evidence?

Excuse me. What do you mean to say?

I think that, in order to carry out
the instructions of the Senate,

it makes more sense
to travel to America now

and check this land
on the way back.

It seems that now sailors
are allowed to dispute

the opinion of the famous Delisle
and the instructions of the Senate?

Excuse me, Sirs.

This is not the way to conduct
scientific debates, Professor.

Excuse me, who invited you here,
Mister Steller?

I am no seaman,

however you could have invited me
as a man of science.

I am leaving. I am leaving.
But remember this, Professor.

In my field, we never make
a record of a plant

unless we have seen it
with our own eyes.

So you worked under the command
of Peter the Great?

It is a very good reference.

You know, I would like
to offer you something.

Where did you study?

At the Naval Academy.
And you?



I am an adventurer.

I came to Russia not long ago
to look for fortune.

I learnt Russian with
Feofan Prokopovich.

- I worked for him as a doctor.
- That's a good reference, too.

Well, we'll be good friends.

Where is that from?

At the end of May 1 741
all the necessary arrangements

for the expedition in America
were ready.

The " Saint Peter" and " Saint Paul"
were able to leave the harbour

and wait for a favourable wind

in the roadstead of the Avachinsk bay.

I was on the " Saint Peter".
Its captain was Bering.

It had a crew of 76 people;
sailors, soldiers and interpreters.

The other ship, the " Saint Paul",
had an equal crew,

and its captain was Chirikov.

Lift the capstan!

Ten, five sazhens!
Clear the anchor!

Fix the anchor
to the ship.

Lubbers, to your places!

Take the helm.

Keep it steady.

On June the 6th at 9 o'clock,
we finally set off on ourjourney.

With propitious wind
and good weather

we left the Avachinsk bay
and set out for the open sea.

On June the 1 1th we already were

at a distance of 150 Dutch miles
from Avacha.

Tell captain Chirikov
to advance ahead of us.

Yes, Sir Commodore.
Launch the signal!


I've just opened a letter.

It says that I have to keep you
under strict control.

- Where is the letter from?
- It's from Tobolsk.

I am compelled to take on board
a man who will ensure

that everything takes place
according to regulations.

He will carry out the duties
of a prison keeper.

We should have departed earlier.

Will they put me in chains?

No. We must use
you for the hardestjobs.

I wanted to make you my adjutant.

Well, go downstairs.

Fire the cannon. Cannon, fire!

Yesterday I verified
the calculations!

Since yesterday we've been travelling
on De Gama's territory!

There is no land!

What should we do, Commodore?

Continue on the same course!

On June the 12th, in spite of all my
reasons to maintain the course,

the Captain made a turn to the North.

That's when misfortune occurred.

As a result of foggy
and cloudy weather,

we lost sight of the " Saint Paul"

and were not able to find it again
for the rest of the journey.

Where the hell are you going?
Furl the sail!

Sir Commodore!

Sir Commodore!

- It's a catastrophe!
- What?

Kozyrev fell in the sea. Turchaninov
abandoned the watch unauthorised.

He left Ovtsyn alone on the sail yard,
and Ovtsyn was hit by the sail.

- What? Is Ovtsyn dead?
- Thank God, he's alive.

- Where is the deserter?
- On the orlop deck.

Bering is a state criminal!

There! The cross!

You shouldn't use such
terms, deserter.

lf, God forbid, Bering is slandered,

you won't avoid my judgment!

I am bound to condemn you,

because I've seen people like you.

Call the prison keeper.

Take him to the officers' cabin.

Pipe all hands on deck!

You will be kept in chains
until we return.

Then I will send you
to Saint-Petersburg.

What are you doing here?
Go back to the cabin.

Sir Commodore,
a current from the east

has brought a herald to our ship
from the American continent.

Autumn will begin before
we reach America.

I grieve

that we are alone now.


Land, land!

Hey, get up! Land! Dear friends, land!

There are no such mountains
in Siberia or in Kamchatka.

Maybe this mountain is being seen
by navigators for the first time.

This is America!

Long live Commodore Bering!

It's noon! Fire! 15-20.


Take the compass bearing.

00:56:09,280 --> 00:56:10,280

00:56:12,240 --> 00:56:13,673
Captain Commodore.

I've heard that you...

have forbidden anybody
to set foot on shore.

I fear that you might delay us.
The weather is still favourable...

Any kind of weather suits me.
Rain, a storm!

Even death suits me.

I must go see this land,
do you hear me, Captain?

And spend there
as much time as I need.

I will publicly protest against you

in the Senate!

You betray the interests
of the country you serve!

You have the coarse soul
of a mercenary!

Put down your sword.

There is truth in your words.

And you will set foot on the shore.

Don't stay too long.

I can't see you well, Steller.

Commodore, you're ill.

It's scurvy.

Work, and remember
that I am not a priest

who can forgive your and my sins.

And take away your sword.

Accompanied by only a Cossack,
I got to the island

and immediately directed my steps
towards the far inland.

After one verst, I came across
traces of human beings.

After 6 versts, I found myself
at the foot of a cliff.

I could go no further.

The time spent in the exploration

was inversely proportional

to the time spent preparing for it.

Preparations had lasted for ten years

and the actual event
only lasted for ten hours.

A snowstorm rushed past.

With God's help, we sailed where

the angry sky was sending us.

Half our crew was lying powerless.

They prayed fervently.

But the curses that had cumulated in
the 10 years of our stay in Siberia

deprived them of the possibility
to be heard.

Meanwhile, many in the crew
were dying of scurvy.

So fast, and in such great numbers,

that we barely had enough strength
to direct the ship

or to change the sails.

I am not overstating
the gravity of the situation.

The most eloquent pen

could not describe our distress.

Blissful assumption and eternal rest
grant unto them, O Lord.

To the departing souls
of your slaves.

They shall be justified
in everlasting memory.

It's me, sir.

I've brought you a light
and something to eat.

Where are we?

God knows.

Why are they singing

as if the Judgment Day had come?

The drummer Osip Chintsov,
the naval grenadier lvan Davydov

and Father Illarion have died.

The naval secretary
is now our priest as well.

Explain what happened

on watch.

Land! It's Kamchatka!

My brothers, it's Kamchatka! Land!

You can't go!
It's madness!

People with scurvy can't go out!
Fresh air is like death to them!

The sick can't go out! You will die!

Congratulations, Dmitry!

God sees everything.
Our agonies have come to an end.

Sir. Excuse me.

Forgive me, Sir Commodore,
but there is news!

News, Sirs! Sirs.

55, 56 degrees of northern latitude.

That is much further north
than the Avachinsk bay.

Is that so, Sir Ovtsyn? Precisely, Sir.

Though I didn't do the calculations.
The midshipman did them.

- When did you do them?
- At noon.

The sun came out,
but only for a moment.

I did them very rapidly.

Can we count on the precision
of these calculations?

Sir Ovtsyn taught me
how to calculate fast.

What's your opinion, Ovtsyn?

Sirs, this is not a continent.
It's an island.

It may be very large,
but it is an island.

We need to move south,

sail around the island,
and then go west, to Kamchatka.

I am certain that land is nearby.

In 3 days all our crew will be dead.

It's not enough that so many died!

How is it possible to believe the
calculations of a young midshipman!

If only everybody followed
the Emperor's charter as he does!

When you're on watch,
I always see a record saying

that we can't determine our position
because the sun is not out.

And I saw such records
even when the sun was out!

Open the door.
Drop the anchor.

Help me, Sirs, help me see the land.

Good. You took the straps on shore.
We'll have something to live on.

It's good not to torment people.

God, look how he's fattened up.

So, convict, speak. Why did you
accuse an innocent man?

Or I'll just leave you here forever!

Come on, Savva,
are you the secret police?

What do you think, adjunct,
is this Kamchatka?

Well, there are a lot of sea animals,
so food is not a problem.

However, Sir Commodore,

if we take into account all the facts,

then, I think, this is an uninhabited
island. It is not Kamchatka.

It's too late to save
the ship. Let's go.

So, secret police, have you found out
the reasons for the accusation?

You scoundrel, I know you.
You're a bloodsucker.

He just wanted to escape hard work.

He knew he would end up with me.

And he was afraid
to climb on the mast.

If it had broken,
he would have fallen into the sea.

The man almost lost his mind.

So, Feodor,
you're loyal after all?

Good. You serve His Majesty well.

Only, you will have nobody
to accuse in court.

I'm dying.

But when I die,
you must tell people the truth.

Do you promise?

Unchain him.

I revoke my order.

An animal! A sea animal! Meat!

What did you bring, Savvushka?

I've cooked a seal.

It's a bit fatty, but it's all right.
The sailors are eating.

- Steller has brought some herbs.
- What kind of herbs?

Curative. I chewed
some myself. You see?

There is no blood on my teeth.

So, Savvushka, what's going on?

Dear Commodore, I must tell you

about my own guilt and my crime.

What guilt, what crime?

Who could you possibly offend here?

I improperly ordered,
without your permission,

to have the ship taken apart
and have a new one built.

You're a fool, Savvushka.

You'll never make
a good " Man Friday".

The ship is state-owned.
We can't touch it.

- Have me carried outside.
- You can't go outside.

Do it.

Let me look at the world.

God bless you!

God bless you, dear friends!

What did you say? The soil growled?

It roared in horror.
It's a volcanic land.

So, well, I made a decision

according to my foolish mind
and without permission.

You can cut off my head
or throw me into the water.

We had saws.
We removed the masts.

And in your name, I ordered to saw
the masts into planks

and to make a boat out of them.

How did you dare?

I had to because people are dying.

Nobody wants to perish.

Have you ever built a ship before?

I have built huts.
And I've seen how ships are built.

Savva, how could you destroy
a sovereign's ship

against the law? It was terrifying.

In your name, Mitya collected
signatures. Everybody was scared.

I know I'm guilty; we shouldn't
have done it. But people...

they look at the sea, they cry,

they die, they're burying each other.

I told them: Vitus lvanovich
was a simple sailor himself.

He used to climb up the masts,
to weave ropes.

- I did.
- That's what I told them.

Vitus lvanovich is a sailor
and he sailed the whole world.

I ordered to build.
I commanded.

- Did you think of this yourself?
- I did.

You're lying!

Yes, I am. Ovtsyn told me to.

Gather everybody.

I will thank and give my blessing
to the new ship and to Mitya!

Dear shipmates,

sailors, officers,

and former subordinates.

Adversity had made us equals.

I order you

to leave me buried in this earth

that has covered me.

It's warm.

I choose this grave myself.

Write this order.

At the end,
add that the responsibility

for the order is mine,

because I've discovered this island,

which means that I rule over it.

I will sign it.

Shipmates, and you, officers,

go and ensure your daily nutrition.

And you, Steller, come here

and open the Bible
to the book of Job.

Read to me.

Even though perhaps
I won't hear it to the end.

Although affliction cometh
not forth of the dust

neither doth trouble
spring out of the ground.

Read about the sparks.

Yet man is born unto trouble,

as the sparks

fly upward.

Goodbye, Steller.

You're a good botanist
and a good friend.


Have you marked out
our island onto the map?

I did, Commodore.
The sun is good today.

Preserve this map.

And this as well.

Goodbye, Dmitry.

I want to...

tell you... my last will.

You haven't forgotten how to speak
Danish, have you?

Yet man is born unto trouble...

Yet man is born unto trouble,

as the sparks fly upward.

Before the Commodore's death,
Steller read to him from the Bible.

With these words
your father died on the island.

I had never seen
such a young commodore.

Were you with him
for a long time, Mitya?

For a year, until he died.

Did he die in your arms?

- Was he buried without a coffin?
- No.

We found some planks.
He had made them himself.

As he was dying, he cried.

He thanked you
and asked you to forgive him.

"Tell her

to let my children become seamen
for the Russian flag.

Tell her to take them to Chirikov.

They will learn naval skills.

If he comes back.

If he doesn't then
find another vessel of mercy".

I knew that you wouldn't come
to me with good words.

It's what he said.

Mitya, do you remember what
this room was like 20 years ago?

We would drink wine, and dance.

There were young officers.

Cheluskin danced here.

A beautiful person.

And the brothers Laptev used to
come here with their wives.

So handsome! Pronchishev danced here.

Sometimes even Vitus
danced with an axe.

He showed us how they used to dance
on the shores of the West Indies.

To Madagascar!

Where are they now, all these men?

Their names are on maps.


The most northerly cape.

But he is dead.

Pronchishev died.

He was buried with his wife.

There's a bay named after them.

The brothers Laptev have perished.

During the wintering.

And Bering?

Commodore Vitus...

Now a sea, a strait, and islands
are named after him.


After the storm separated us,
Chirikov went his own way.

He reached America
two days before us.

He sailed past our island
but didn't notice us.

Did you receive the drafting set
that the emperor had offered you?

I had no time to.

It's a pity.

Go to the cabinet of curiosities
where the emperor's belongings are.

Bow in his memory.

Do you recognise her?

She was the fiancee of the emperor
and your friend.

She was an exile in Beryozovo,
and then went to a monastery.

Now she's the wife of General Bruce.

This is my friend Dmitry Ovtsyn.

He's returned from a great expedition

on the American shores

to trace the northern sea borders
onto our maps.

I've heard about you from my wife.

You acted with childish intemperance

and with knightly

And although it is not appropriate
to act like that,

and I myself don't act like that,

I respect you.

Your lmperial Majesty,
allow me to introduce to you.

Dmitry Leontyevich Ovtsyn

who led his crew back from the
islands now called Komondorski.

Oh, now your cheek is disfigured.

So, what do you request, Ovtsyn?

Your Majesty,

allow me to request to withdraw
the fine on the Bering family.

What was it for?

- For handing out fells to the crew.
- Wilfully.

Your Majesty, he did it
in the utmost distress.

Are the islands rich?

There live countless seals,
beavers, and fish.

- What about arable farming?
- There is no wheat.

There is no wheat.

And what do you request for yourself?

To serve, Your Majesty.

Very well said.
Stand up.

- Were you tortured?
- I was, Your Majesty.

Documents about your case have
been lying on my table for a year.

But my life is so difficult;
I have so much to do!

Consider your seniority valid
from the moment Bering delivered it.

And take care of Bering's fine
in my name.

And now go. Dance!
You're not on your islands.



I'm late again. Go.

Go to him. I will wait.

I, Dmitry Ovtsyn,

swear to God Almighty
to serve loyally.

His Majesty Peter the Great,

Emperor and Tsar of Russia.

And everywhere and in any situation
I shall guard and protect

the interests of His Majesty
and of His Nation.

And I shall do
all that is in favour

of His Majesty and His Nation
in good and Christian conscience

without deceit or ruse,

as it is required of a good,
honest, and loyal man.

As one must answer for
on Judgement Day.

As one must answer for
on Judgement Day.

Directed by

Cinematography by
Konstantin ARUTYUNOV.

Art Directors

Music by

The End