Alexandra Kulak, Ruslan Fedotow | Mexico, Russia 2015 | 41 Min. | OmeU
For generations, the Salamanca community of Mennonites has been living in the same modest and rigidly organized way. The inhabitants live in houses built by their forebears, and work in fields first planted by the same ancestors. All the men in this small community in Mexico wear dungarees, check shirts and Stetsons, while the women wear dark dresses and hats with ribbons. In the school classroom, boys sit on the left, girls on the right, all their hats hanging neatly, and separately, on the rear wall. Their only textbook is the Bible. The stylized shots – some silent and still as photographs, others scanning the scene – capture the daily life of a family with eight children. The sisters braid each other’s hair, schoolboys play tag on a sand-covered square, and all the children eat in silence at the lamp-lit dining table. Black-and-white shots of modern-day scenes are accompanied by a voice-over narrating a man’s recollections of his youth. ‘As soon as I close my eyes,’ he explains, ‘I go back to the past, to the moment when I made the choice that shaped my entire life.’ Speaking in the Plautdietsch language, he talks calmly of the strong curiosity he felt as a young boy about the world beyond Salamanca and the Mennonite faith – a curiosity for which he paid dearly.
Aleksandra Kulak is a documentary director from Vitebsk, Belarus. In 2015 she graduated from Saint-Petersburg University Culture and Arts. Since 2014 she has been a student at the Moscow Film School specializing in cinematography.
Ruslan Fedotow is a director of photography from Mogilev, Belarus. In 2012 he graduated from the Belarusian State Academy of Arts. Since 2014 he has been studying at the Moscow Film School specializing in cinematography.
- Listapad - Minsk International Film Festival 2016 - Diploma 'For An Art Decision', Award For The Best Documentary Movie
- Ânûû-rû Âboro Film Festival 2016 - Award For The Best Medium-Length Film
- Message to Man - International Film Festival 2016 - Diploma "For a Film About Difficulties of a Personal Choice"
- 66th BERLINALE 2016 (Official Selection, Perspektive Deutsches Kino, Berlin, Germany)
- Guanajuato International Film Festival 2016
- Andrey Tarkovsky International Film Festival 'Mirror' 2016
- Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival 2016
- DocuDays UA 2016
- International Vera Film Festival 2016
- DocPoint - Helsinki Documentary Film Festival 2016
- Listapad - Minsk International Film Festival 2016
- Russian Film Festival in Lebanon 2016
- Ânûû-rû Âboro Film Festival 2016
- Message to Man - International Film Festival 2016
- Camden International Film Festival 2016
- International Film Festival On The Edge 2016
- Artdocfest Russian Open Documentary Film Festival 2015
- IDFA 2015