From the Barents Sea, a chill wind seems to blow constantly across a semi-deserted town at the edge of the world. Nevertheless, a little community holds out here. In a flawlessly filmed portrait of this extraordinary place, the theme linking the residents is their determination to chart their own course.
Bardak was a marine, but his garrison broke up and his comrades sought a better life elsewhere. He stayed behind among the many empty buildings that are slowly but surely being consumed by the elements. Meanwhile, Dima, a young poacher, flouts as many rules as he can, but gives friendly directions to lost tourists and reads lovingly to his little daughter. Ferryman Alexander is locked in a silent generational battle with his teenage daughter Masha; her eyes are on the outside world. Further along, a little team of ships from the Second World War turns up, and a woman steadfastly runs a weather station.
In the distance, we hear radio and TV news reports. The news affects these people too, yet at the same time it seems a million miles away from their isolated everyday reality.
Dir. Ilya Povolotsky - 84min - 2019 - Russia, Qatar
"otherworldly documentary shows a small, idiosyncratic community striving to lead meaningful lives in this inhospitable environment....atmospheric cinematography is a marvel, imbuing a Tarkovsky-esque ethereality to a land that has fallen out of step with the modern world." - The Guardian