|8:30||Live music by Sunset|
NYARMA (Edgar Bartenev | Russia | 40 min.)
Having screened Edgar Bartenev's short film Yaptic Hasse at Rooftop in 2008, we are thrilled to welcome him back with this fabulous follow-up film. Once again documenting a family of nomadic Nenets who live in the Siberian tundra, Bartenev's grand cinematography immerses us in the gorgeous and harsh scenery, while the intimacy of his familial inspection introduces us to the minute details of their remote life.
The Nenets make their home on high plains that are covered with a rugged dark soil, surrounded by steep hills and rocky peaks that disappear into the clouds, capped by a low-hanging sky. It's an otherworldly landscape that implicitly imparts a deep and intractable isolation. They travel hundreds of miles around the region, amazingly capturing enormous wild reindeer, feeding them by hand, taming them into work, utilizing their milk, meat and fur for themselves and as sellable commodities. They move across the tundra on handmade "nyarma," reindeer-pulled wooden sleds, living off the land as their people have done for centuries, seemingly untouched by modernity.
But even their isolated lives are changing in the modern world. Railroads and highways are shrinking their grazing grounds. Federal regulations limit how many deer they can herd. 24-year-old family head Gosha Nogo struggles to keep fellow men around the community, a necessity given the need for mutual aid in this harsh realm. An outstandingly-crafted documentary, Nyarma quietly and passionately tells a story that mixes the ethereal feelings of a unique way of life with the gritty facts of survival.