Trees are everything. In a settlement near the Russian-Finnish border, a traditional family keeps shamanistic rituals alive. The children play in the same forest where photos nailed to trees remind us of Stalin’s bloody repression. Spirituality and politics meet in this intuitive montage of poetic impressions, historical material, nature shots, family scenes and probing testimony. Alternating between the enchantment of a child’s gaze and critical essay, this is the first of a two-part series dedicated to Karelia. The traumatic history of this region, which once belonged to Sweden, still resounds. The father points to the massacre by Ivan the Terrible in 1570. A gnarled block of wood is reminiscent of Pan, god of nature, and panic. But there’s also the long arm of Putin. The daughter of a historian, an activist who investigated mass graves for 20 years, describes how her father was arrested on the basis of a shady accusation.
Presented by the director
Duque’s work is located on the periphery of Spanish non-fiction with a strong documentary and essay character. He has been awarded in festivals or prizes such as Punto de Vista, Cinéma du Réel, Dokufest, Goya Awards or D’A, where he won the Talents award for Oleg y las raras artes. His work has also been seen in cultural centers such as the Reina Sofía Museum, MACBA, or Hermitage of Saint Petersburg. He is one of the leading filmmakers at D’A, where he has presented most of his films.
Filmography: Medea (short film, 2023, D'A 2023), Karelia: International with Monument (2019, D'A 2019), Oleg y las raras artes (2016, D'A 2016), Una película recordada (short film, 2015), Las manos de Nastasia (short film, 2015), Primeros Síntomas (short film, 2015), Ensayo final para utopía (2012, D'A 2012), Color perro que huye (2011), No es la imagen es el objeto (short film, 2009), All You Zombies (short film, 2008), La constelación Bartleby (short film, 2007), Landscapes in a Truck (short film, 2006), Paralelo 10 (short film, 2005), Iván Z (short film, 2004)