Archive of films Klondike-a / Klondajka

Russia
2002, 26 min

Section: East of the West
Year: 2002

The industrial town of Alapayevsk lies 1,847 km from Moscow and 180 km from Yekaterinburg. Unemployment and the cost of living are driving the local men, along with mothers, pensioners and children, to the slagheaps where they mine manganese and sell it to middlemen. The devastated landscape, the dated smelting works and images of the decaying town provide a backdrop to this testimony of human despair and the will to survive with dignity.


Synopsis

The industrial town of Alapayevsk lies 1,847 km from Moscow and 180 km from Yekaterinburg. Unemployment and the cost of living are driving the local men, along with mothers, pensioners and children, to the slagheaps where they mine manganese and sell it to middlemen. This activity, reminiscent of the “gold rush”, is documented by an older “amateur”. In addition, a twelve-year-old school pupil describes his view of the phenomenon and, as we discover from his grandfather, later perishes in the “Klondike” during a landslide. The grandfather works in the local amateur theatre whose selfless and devoted acting troupe also make a bit of money on the side in the expanding “Klondike” region. The devastated landscape, the dated smelting works and images of the decaying town provide a backdrop to this testimony of human despair and the will to survive with dignity. Coffin production is prospering in one of its districts, however – manganese not only helps the inhabitants to survive, but it also kills them.

About the director

Vladimir Popov (b. 1961, Kazakhstan) studied history at the Teaching Institute in Nizhniy Tagil (1988) and graduated from a university course in screenwriting and direction in Moscow (1998). He lives in Alapayevsk where he made the documentary Klondike-a (2002). This was preceded by the films Daydream (Dnyvnoi son, 2000) and Prophesy before Sunset (Gadaniye pered zakhodom solntsa, 2001).

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: East of the West
   
Director: Vladimír Popov
Screenplay: Vladimír Popov
Dir. of Photography: Irina Uralskaja / Irina Uralskaya
Editor: Aleksandra Taldikina
Producer: Natalia Želtuchina / Nataliya Zheltukhina
Production: Risk Film and Video Studio
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