Tuesday, 11 January 2011
Silent Souls - Овсянки: arthouse, road movie, erotica
Alexei Fedorchenko's pungent and disturbing film combines folklore, ethnography and eroticism.
Based on Denis Osokin's novel, Ovsyanki (The Buntings), Silent Souls is set in the Lake Nero region in western Russia, where the Merya, a pre-Russian Finno-Ugric tribe, are still in evidence.
The film's voice-over narrator, Aist, is a factory photographer and collector of the Meryan folklore. His boss, Miron, asks him to help send off his recently deceased wife, Tanya, in true Merya fashion.
Her corpse must be cremated by a lakeside and the ashes scattered in water. But before that, Miron must 'smoke' - that is, chat quietly and honestly about the deceased's sexual allure. Two caged buntings - small, sparrow-like birds - accompany them on their journey through sepia-lit lowlands to the moody, folksy soundtrack. ...