SILENT SOULS, 2009
Directed by Alexsei Fedorchenko
In Russian with English subtitles
One of the favorites of the festival circuit, this visually stunning Russian film has largely been unseen in normal cinemas. When the wife of the central character dies, he decides to honor her in accordance with the ancient Merya culture of West-Central Russia. Although the Merya people finally blended in with the Russians in the 17th century, their myths and traditions live on in some of their descendants. He asks a friend to help him carry out his plans, and together they set out to travel across the wild and barren landscape on his pilgrimage. It’s a road trip in which they share their memories, as they travel to bring her body to the lake where they had their honeymoon and to burn the wife’s body on the lake, in accordance with their ancestral Merya tradition. Ghosts—of people, places and rituals—accumulate and eventually dominate the journey, making it a road movie operating on many levels… including a spiritual one.
This will be a high-definiton screening