Kolyma

A film by Sta­nis­law Mucha. In rus­si­an and ger­man with ger­man sub­tit­les.

Goulash?,” the young woman loo­king out of the hatch of a com­bi­ned hot dog and piz­za stand on the side of the win­dy Koly­ma rou­te asks again. No, Sta­nis­law Mucha did ask for “Gulag”. And he is asto­nis­hed to find that here, whe­re the Soviet penal and labour camp sys­tem shaped the natu­ral and living envi­ron­ment for deca­des, the term isn’t com­mon­ly used. Actual­ly, for all intents and pur­po­ses, the filmmaker’s jour­ney seems to be more of a trip through wor­d­s­capes. It begins in Maga­dan Bay, which ear­ned its nick­na­me “gate to hell” as the port of ent­ry for the forced labou­rers. It con­ti­nues along the “lon­gest gra­vey­ard in the world”, as the long distan­ce road from the Sea of Okhotsk to Yakutsk is occa­sio­nal­ly cal­led. But it also crosses the paths of the living, tho­se who stay­ed here or were born here, who more often than not have bet­ter things to do than to revol­ve around that geni­us loci. Encoun­ters as inspi­ring elec­tric dischar­ges on the hori­zon of expec­ta­ti­ons – like tho­se elec­tric pul­ses an ama­teur phy­si­ci­an picked up along the way wants to use to reju­ve­na­te his old father.

When the pre­sent over­wri­tes the past, when the Putin era super­im­po­ses the Soviet era, when the eter­nal peri­phe­ry is allo­wed to actively par­ti­ci­pa­te in the snapshots made of it, the result are bone dry punch lines: for examp­le that slow moti­on pop music video Mucha tre­ats a girls’ dan­cing trou­pe to as he dri­ves by.

Syl­via Gör­ke | DOK Leip­zig

Credits:
Deutsch­land 2017, 85 Min., rus­sisch, deut­sche OmU
Buch, Regie: Sta­nis­law Mucha
Kame­ra: Enno End­li­cher
Schnitt: Sta­nis­law Mucha, Emil Rosen­ber­ger

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