The Phenomenon of Yakut cinema: Detachment, Independence, Chances

NATION/MEANING
Awarding The Grand Prize to Pugalo (2020) – a Yakut movie – the jury of the Sochi Open Russian Festival admitted that some of the members are unfamiliar with the Yakut cinema in general. This seems as if the talking was about another country and not the largest area with the most extreme environment in Russian Federation. Self-sufficient Sakha cinema is shot in similar modes of economy and limitation, which do not limit the idea and plot but only develop artistic solutions.
by Albina Akhatova


08/05/2021
Isolation
Being the hugest administrative unit by area, Yakutia has a low population density, which does not reach even a million as of 2021. India, a state of the same size, is home to two billion people. But this, of course, is understandable: the climate of India is much more comfortable and adapted for life, and the historical and political path is quite different.

Russian pioneers came to the republic in the 17th century: Yakutia has become a place for prisoners and political exile since then. But even now there are not so many people who want to settle in the land of permafrost with polar nights and days: for a modern person, who has been separated from close interaction with nature for many centuries, getting into such hard climate will be total stress for both the psyche and the body. In Russian social networks, photos of cities in the Far North – including the Republic of Sakha – are popularas they depict harsh living conditions: snow-covered cities, frozen houses, polar nights. All this causes a feeling of hopelessness, longing and icing. Playwright Mikhail Bashkirov, who moved to Yakutsk – the capital of the republic – in 2016, says that "all the time you feel the proximity of death" here. The sense of extremity separates Yakutia both geographically and mentally.
Conrad "Connie" Brean: What did television ever do to you?
Winifred Ames (presidential aide): It destroyed the electoral process!
I haven't played the Colonel as a sociopath. On the contrary, I began to reflect
what made him for what he is. And I decided that there must be something
of a little broken child in he.
– Jonny Depp
Relations between all the "members of the expedition" are rather strained. Besides, they all have their own reasons for being angry with the deceased, except for his son. "You can't even bury him properly," — the Icarus driver addresses them with a sharp truth. However,
when analyzing the characters' communication, it should be taken into account that
the screenwriters created the situation and the plot the way they wanted it to be. No one in the audience is allowed to know how much of what was shown was actually there. This is what is confusing in the film about the artist's death. Most of the audience simply doesn't understand why it was necessary to include fiction into such an event.

The beginning of the film surprises not only with the appearance of Victor — the careful editing by the team of the film creators literally connects two eras here adding a fictional character to Victor's surroundings. There is a girl, working as a photographer who is hopelessly in lovewith the musician, she is played by Nadezhda Kalganova. Later in the film, she will also be among those who will take the coffin of the artist from Riga to St.Petersburg.
There is a joke among the Yakut filmmakers that "half of the republic is shooting, half is watching". Given the small population of Yakutia and the "genuine democracy" of its cinema, which implies the absence of a professional hierarchy, this joke is completely true. The most famous Yakut director, the Pugalo author, Dmitry Davydov, is a school teacher who would first shoot films on a mobile phone. According to the program director of the Yakut International Film Festival, Alexey Medvedev, the attraction of Sakha cinema for chamber stories provides them with a festival future.
Sakha is also the name of the indigenous people of Yakutia of Turkic origin. It is important to note that the name "Yakuts" was given to these people by the founders of the Far North – as well as the name of the region, which, by the way, in Russian toponymy is written as "the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)". The great distance from Moscow and the western part of Russia has allowed these people to form separately, without the influence of Russian or European culture, and to preserve this primordial spirit. Doctor of Cultural Studies Dmitry Zamyatin notes that the Yakuts are isolated not only from the Russian regions, but also from their own language family. However, this only strengthened the national identity of the Sakha, formed at the junction of the Turkic-Mongolian bloodlines, while other Turkic ethnic groups, such as Tatars, Bashkirs or Chuvash, have significantly assimilated with the prevailing Russians by culture-mixed marriages, changing of religion, indifference towards their native language and customs.

Perhaps, among the ethnic minorities from the territory of European Russia, the Sakha people can be compared with the Mari people in terms of loyalty and preservation of folk traditions, a large part of whom still profess a pagan religion based on national mythology.

The beginning of the film surprises not only with the appearance of Victor — the careful editing by the team of the film creators literally connects two eras here adding a fictional character to Victor's surroundings. There is a girl, working as a photographer who is hopelessly in lovewith the musician, she is played by Nadezhda Kalganova. Later in the film, she will also be among those who will take the coffin of the artist from Riga to St.Petersburg.

Relations between all the "members of the expedition" are rather strained. Besides, they all have their own reasons for being angry with the deceased, except for his son. "You can't even bury him properly," — the Icarus driver addresses them with a sharp truth. However,
when analyzing the characters' communication, it should be taken into account that
the screenwriters created the situation and the plot the way they wanted it to be. No one in the audience is allowed to know how much of what was shown was actually there. This is what is confusing in the film about the artist's death. Most of the audience simply doesn't understand why it was necessary to include fiction into such an event.
The commitment to one's own nature – in every sense, to its laws and unity with it – is reflected in Sakha cinema. This is facilitated by the pagan origins of beliefs, nature, and cultural separation. The humanism of the plots, multiplied by the national flavor and mixed with modesty. Humble and pristine. And most importantly – frankness and understanding of art as self-expression and utterance.
 
The Phenomenon of Yakut Cinema: Detachment, Independence, Chances
NATION/MEANING
Awarding The Grand Prize to Pugalo (2020) – a Yakut movie – the jury of the Sochi Open Russian Festival admitted that some of the members are unfamiliar with the Yakut cinema in general. This seems as if the talking was about another country and not the largest area with the most extreme environment in Russian Federation. Self-sufficient Sakha cinema is shot in similar modes of economy and limitation, which do not limit the idea and plot but only develop artistic solutions.
by Albina Akhatova


08/05/2021
Isolation
Being the hugest administrative unit by area, Yakutia has a low population density, which does not reach even a million as of 2021. India, a state of the same size, is home to two billion people. But this, of course, is understandable: the climate of India is much more comfortable and adapted for life, and the historical and political path is quite different.


Russian pioneers came to the republic in the 17th century: Yakutia has become a place for prisoners and political exile since then. But even now there are not so many people who want to settle in the land of permafrost with polar nights and days: for a modern person, who has been separated from close interaction with nature for many centuries, getting into such a hard climate will be total stress for both the psyche and the body. In Russian social networks, photos of cities in the Far North – including the Republic of Sakha – are popularas they depict harsh living conditions: snow-covered cities, frozen houses, polar nights. All this causes a feeling of hopelessness, longing and icing. Playwright Mikhail Bashkirov, who moved to Yakutsk – the capital of the republic – in 2016, says that "all the time you feel the proximity of death" here. The sense of extremity separates Yakutia both geographically and mentally.
Conrad "Connie" Brean: What did television ever do to you?
Winifred Ames (presidential aide): It destroyed the electoral process!

I haven't played the Colonel as a sociopath. On the contrary, I began to reflect
what made him for what he is. And I decided that there must be something
of a little broken child in he.
– Jonny Depp
Sakha is also the name of the indigenous people of Yakutia of Turkic origin. It is important to note that the name "Yakuts" was given to these people by the founders of the Far North – as well as the name of the region, which, by the way, in Russian toponymy is written as "the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)". The great distance from Moscow and the western part of Russia has allowed these people to form separately, without the influence of Russian or European culture, and to preserve this primordial spirit. Doctor of Cultural Studies Dmitry Zamyatin notes that the Yakuts are isolated not only from the Russian regions, but also from their own language family. However, this only strengthened the national identity of the Sakha, formed at the junction of the Turkic-Mongolian bloodlines, while other Turkic ethnic groups, such as Tatars, Bashkirs or Chuvash, have significantly assimilated with the prevailing Russians by culture-mixed marriages, changing of religion, indifference towards their native language and customs.


The commitment to one's own nature – in every sense, to its laws and unity with it – is reflected in Sakha cinema. This is facilitated by the pagan origins of beliefs, nature, and cultural separation. The humanism of the plots, multiplied by the national flavor and mixed with modesty. Humble and pristine. And most importantly – frankness and understanding of art as self-expression and utterance.


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