Arctic Voices: New film to highlight Northern peoples’ traditions, music and lif
© Stringer

Arctic Voices: New film to highlight Northern peoples’ traditions, music and lif

The film Arctic Voices features three novellas about people in the Extreme North and their lives. Each story shows the role of local traditions and music in the life of the protagonists, as well as the struggle between two civilizations, namely, modern trends and ethnic customs and traditions that are passed on from generation to generation.

The first novella tells the story of Masne, a young Nenets woman and a TikTok actress who is torn between popularity and quiet family life in a chum, or reindeer-skin tent. Although she has more opportunities in the big city, she feels truly happy at home when her family gathers for dinner near the fire, and when her mother plaits her hair to the sounds of ethnic music.

The second novella focuses on the Taibarei family, whose pagan members sew ethnic clothing at their own tailor shop. The film crew will follow them to the tundra in search of new reindeer skins, and they will also watch shaman rites typical of Northern ethnic people.

The third novella will introduce Nikolai Kurilov, who wrote the widely popular poem Homeland from the film Brother: Part Two, directed by Alexei Balabanov . Written in the Yukaghir language and translated into Russian, the poem came to symbolize an entire generation. In turn, Nikolai Kurilov sees himself as an artist, a journalist and a keeper of the Yukaghir ethnic group’s traditions.

Denis Simachyov, a Moscow restaurateur, DJ and sound producer, stars in all three novellas. He joined an expedition and visited the Arctic in order to record local songs and voices, and to mix them into a single musical composition. In the final episode, he will play a striking DJ set on a huge all-terrain vehicle called the Burlak. The set consists of soundtracks based on local folklore. The film’s soundtrack will later be released on music platforms.

During the expedition, Denis Simachyov collected over 12 ethnic voice recordings and used them to compile the Arctic music album and to release a collection of vinyl records.

The film was shot in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area, the Nenets Autonomous Area and the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic, and it will be released on June 9.