Saint Petersburg – Petrograd – Leningrad – Saint Petersburg. A Myth-City. A History-City. A Legend-City. Blind firewalls and endless colonnades of palaces, precise geometry of streets and spacious squares. Wandering along its lines you cease to understand what is reality and what is fiction, what is true and what is false. The City drives you crazy. It draws you into the abyss of madness. Risen from the swamps, Saint Petersburg seems an apparition, which can vanish as unexpectedly as it materialized sinking in the waters of the Gulf of Finland, or disappearing in ashes of fire. Sooner or later you come to realize that the City is not just a background but a living creature subtly influencing everything that is going on. It creates its own Heroes, it tells its own stories.
Only Saint Petersburg, at the dawn of a new era and at the beginning of new times, could bring to life such a character as Grigori Rasputin. The more you plunge into memoirs and reflections from the early 20th century, the more you feel unwittingly involved into a complicated performance. This phantasmagoria entwined everything in a tight knot: the hysteria of time brought about by fear and desolation; the hysteria of a mother worrying about her sick child; the hysteria of the government reminding a whirl of a carnival; the hysteria of faith spilling out enormous numbers of saints and holy fools. Masquerade becomes the norm. Masks replace human beings by swallowing them and turning into the Myth. And behind all this madness, the shimmering image of the City appears and dissolves into thin air.