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  • A poetic documentary about life in a war torn Chechen village, with the cemetery as its symbolic focal point. The village lives and breathes in unison. The Chechen gravediggers are always busy. Death is an everyday visitor in the mountain village. It does not even matter that yet another war has ended. The people live stuck in a circle of vengeance. They also gather into circles to chant prayers to God. The young and old men who have survived the war chant their prayer, running in a circle, which expands the echo and helps the men forget themselves. Only the cows are grazing calmly next to the cemetery and the children are happily going about their business. The smaller boys are fighting and playing war, while the older ones are preparing to take on real Kalashnikovs. Women are clearly in the majority, but somehow there does not seem to be that many of them around. Their watchful eyes observe and understand everything. A father sacrifices a bull so that his son could live. Participating in the slaughter ritual makes a man out of the boy. A wedding celebration is uplifting because life gets to go on. The Chechens’ parting words to one another are, “May you come back free!”

EDN Member
Riho Västrik


Finished Film

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