Liesbeth De Ceulaer’s hybrid film captures the otherworldly landscape of Yakutia with its fast-melting permafrost and in doing so asks vital questions about extinction.
Liesbeth De Ceulaer
Belgium 2021. 75min
Yakut, Russian, Yukaghir
With English subtitles
Three Yakutians walk through the vast, utterly ethereal wilderness of Eastern Siberia, in search of a past that is always disappearing over the horizon. Two brothers Roman and Kyym Skrybykin are on a mission to hunt long-gone reindeer whilst renowned palaeontologist Semyon Grigoryev scours the rapidly melting permafrost looking for mammoth DNA to clone. What does the process of extinction tell us, how much is it accelerating and can it be reversed? Undertaking this journey, we are faced with a sublime landscape that bears witness to a timescale far beyond human, or even animal, existence. Drawing on folklore, science fiction and documentary, Liesbeth De Ceulaer has created an enchanting work of cinematic realism that moves freely between the present, the past and the world of dreams.
Hyun Jin Cho
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