Life is raw and harsh out in the Arctic tundra, where young Ivanna lives a nomadic life with her five children. A tough and charismatic woman who is put to the test when she has to give up the traditional life of the Nenets people and move to the city. The climate is changing, her reindeers are dying, and her husband, Gena, has turned into an alcoholic because of his job at a gas plant. And even though Ivanna can put both him – and everyone else – in their place with her killer gaze and no-nonsense attitude, she harbours a desire to liberate herself from the violent relationship. Four years in Ivanna’s life have become a formidable film created with an artist’s eye for the material texture of the world where an image of a sleeping child, three fish and a hungry cat almost become a cosmic motif. This is vital, physical film art with an unforgettable woman at its centre. Meanwhile, Ivanna’s letters, which are read aloud by herself, lift her story above the raging of the elements. Director Renato Borrayo Serrano, who was born in Guatemala and lives in Russia, has created a drama about liberation and a melancholy requiem about a bygone way of life.
(The World Premiere is co-presented with Hot Docs)