1905 – Jane Callahan a once beautiful American writes to her son, a cadet at a famous military academy. 1885 – Her memories take us back 20 years to when she arrived in Russia to assist Douglas McCracken, an obsessive engineer who needs the Grand Duke’s patronage to sponsor his invention, a massive machine to harvest the forests of Siberia. She is supposed, as McCracken’s daughter, to seduce the main representative authorities for him to be able to sell his machine. On her travels, she will meet a handsome young cadet, Andreï Tolstoï. They will share the passion for opera and the young officer will fall in love with the beautiful stranger…
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"I thought I'd already been involved in colossal productions such as Joseph Losey's "Don Giovanni" and Jean-Paul Rappenau's "Cyrano de Bergerac." But "Barbier de Sibérie" was stupendous—three years in production, thirty weeks of shooting, twelve months of editing. . . . But what an extraordinary exploit!"
(Michel Seydoux, Producer)