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The Russians - An intimate journey from birth to death, Part 1

September 5, 2021

A very private trip through Russia - a world power with a shrinking population, a myriad of ethnic minorities, and vast distances.


Encounters with Russians from six different generations help us get to know a Russia beyond Moscow and the Kremlin. They tell us of a nation poised between tradition and the future. Filmmaker Juri Rescheto travelled through the giant country, meeting with ordinary Russians who share their everyday lives with him. They talk about their joys and sorrows, their hopes and needs, and their experiences - good and bad. The film shows intimate scenes from their homes and their workplaces, as well as glimpses of their political views, their standards of living, and their customs. The protagonists’ personal situations are presented in relation to official Russian studies on the particular generation to which they belong. In Part 1 we go to a city halfway between Moscow and Novosibirsk to meet Jelena, who works as a surrogate mother in a children’s home. Then we travel to the boreal forest in western Siberia to meet 16-year-old Veronika, who spends most of the year in a boarding school. Her parents are reindeer herders and members of the indigenous Khanty people. The generation of young adults in Russia is represented by Kirill, who holds down a normal job, but spends his free time practicing a dangerous hobby: no holds barred boxing. In Part 2 of the documentary we meet Dmitri, who lives in northwestern Russia and works at Europe’s largest blast furnace. He is a proud steelworker and admires Vladimir Putin. At Lake Baikal, Baba Lyuba tells us many stories about her legendary region and her own eventful life. Finally, we make the acquaintance of Ivan, who earns a livelihood from death as an engraver of tombstones at a gigantic cemetery in central Russia.