Никита Михалков (Nikita Mikhalkov) is a famous Russian film director, probably one of the best known one outside our country. His prestige allowed him to shoot the film “Сибирский цирюльник” (The Barber of SIberia), in 1998, with an international casting: Julia Ormond, Richard Harris, Oleg Menshikov, Vladimir Ilyin, Alexey Petrenko.
In 1885, a rich American entrepreneur and his beautiful assistant arrive in Russia to try to sell a new invention. Jane, his assistant, soon falls in love with a young Russian officer. But jealousy drives the young officer to behave stupidly, and to be sent to Siberia.
When Nikita Mikhalkov began the shooting of his film he said: “Я надеюсь, что зрители во время фильма будут и смеяться и плакать, но они не должны знать, почему они смеются или плачут. И ещё я хочу, чтобы это был русский фильм” (I hope the audience will laugh and cry while watching it, but they don’t need to know why they laugh or cry. I want it to be a real Russian Film).
When it came to shoot the episode of Maslenitsa, the farewell holiday to winter, the weather was unusually warm and there was no snow in Moscow. So Mikhalkov had to buy hundred of tons of salt to simulate snow.
The shooting took place in Siberia, in Prague, in Moscow and even in Portugal. All these extravagances from the director brought the cost of the film close to $ 26 millions. This is the most expensive film in Russia.