At the End of the World
Siberia, 19th century. The young bishop Amvrosy travels north to visit his new Orthodox flock of native inhabitants. On the journey he is accompanied by an old monk, Kiriyak, who knows the local language and customs and doesn’t approve of the thoughtless mass baptism of indigenous people.
On the way they are overtaken by a snowstorm and bishop Amvrosy is left alone with his guide without any food and transport. There is only one pair of skis and the guide leaves the bishop promising to return. The bishop is sure that the guide is deceiving him because he is a savage who refuses to accept Orthodoxy.
I read this story by Leskov for a long time. Although I was born and raised in Soviet times, a time of the denial of God, I have always been interested in the topic of religious beliefs. My diploma work at Film School was based on the play by Semyon Ermolaev "The God". Today the attitude towards faith has changed in society. I think there is much interest in religious topics and it is increasing. I am concerned about many questions, in particular, why the Yakuts closely adopted Orthodoxy, while remaining also faithful to their own faith, to Yryng Aiyy Toyon Tangara (the Supreme Deity Үrүng Aiyy). It seems to me that among a significant part of our population, the image of Aiyy has merged with the idea of a Christian God. And yet most of the Yakuts remain still pagans and faith in Aiyy is in each of us. Through my project, I would like to show the pagan consciousness, the pagan worldview of my people who were not influenced (or influenced?) by Christianity.
Eduard Novikov is a director and writer. He graduated from the St. Petersburg State University of Cinema and Television in 2001 with a degree in Directing and DOP. One of the leading and titled directors of the Sakhafilm Company, a member of the Guild of Film Directors of Russia, a member of the Union of Cinematographers of the Russian Federation, Laureate of the State Prize of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) named after A. E. Kulakovsky. A member of Asia Pacific Screen Academy since 2018.
Sardana Savvina is a producer, promoter of Sakha films, researcher, founder and head of Sakha Cineclub – the association of independent filmmakers of the Sakha Republic. Now working as a producer at State National Film Company “Sakhafilm”. A CEO of own company “Sardaana Films” since 2015, she is a promo producer of many Sakha films. Organiser of festivals of Sakha films in Tatarstan and Tyva Republics (2016); programmer and co-organiser of Sakha films participation at CineVacances 2016 Program at Seoul Art Cinema Cinematheque (Korea); advisor of Native Program at the 67th Berlinale FF (2017), Producer of Special Program in Focus “Sakha Cinema: The World of Mysterious Nature and Myths” at Busan IFF (2017). A Member of Asia Pacific Screen Academy (APSA) since 2016.