The Holidays

Marina Razbezhkina, 2005, 52 min
The Mansi children at the boarding school in the small town of Ivdel' - the northernmost town in Sverdlovsk region, 535 kilometers from Ekaterinburg - are waiting impatiently for the winter break. They are eager to return to their native village, where there are no televisions or computer games. It takes a whole day to cover a hundred and fifty kilometers in a weather - beaten lorry, through forests and snow - covered plains. Yet nothing is better than home, where you can go sledding, jump off the roof into the snow, or play cards with grandmother in the bleak light of the kerosene lamp all evening long. Witnessing the everyday life of Treskole's villagers, this meditative and attentive film by an award winning filmmaker carries the viewers across both time and space. The laconic routine is interrupted by accidents that punctuate the predictable passage of time: a child burns himself, a car falls through the ice, somebody gets lost in the woods. The self - appointed shaman advises the locals to leave the village as few families can make a living. The holidays are a short break from town life for the children - will any of them decide to return for good?