Aleksei Vakhrushev made his award-winning The Tundra Book. A Tale of Vukvukai, the Little Rock as a National Geographic's All Roads Seed Grant recipient. A few days before the film's sold-out screenings at Hot Docs, Mr Vakhrushev won the NIKA Award for the 2011 Best Documentary Film presented by the National Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of Russia. At the beginning of May, The Tundra Book was also screened at Documenta Madrid.
The Tundra Book is permeated with an air of cultural and filmmaking ease, much of it owing to the fact that Mr Vakrushev was born in the Chukchi regional capital of Anadyr. With an emphatic "Let them live!", the filmmaker gave the film's campaign issue a strong voice in his thank you speech at the NIKA gala when he called for the closure of boarding schools that separate Chukchi children from their families and from tribal traditions that seem destined to dwindle away with the death of the tribe's elders.
In addition to its accomplishments, the film also travels the world's most prestigious film festivals as part of the East Silver Caravan. Zdeněk Blaha of East Silver also heaps praise on the film: "Nature and ethnographic films are a very specific documentary genre not often associated with creative author-driven cinema. Aleksei Vakhrushev’s The Tundra Book. A Tale of Vukvukai, the Little Rock is a very ambitious film though. This story of the nomadic Chukchi tribe and its elder Vukvukai who live in the Arctic area of Chukotka is an impressive dialogue with early cinema and the work of Robert Flaherty, namely his Nanook of the North. Vakhrushev's depiction of people living in harsh conditions and the structure of his film, divided into several chapters describing various parts of the tribe's life, are reminiscent of this pioneer documentarian. With stunning images of the frozen land, The Tundra Book is a poetic documentary about a vanishing tribe and its traditions."
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Kniga Tundry. Povest o Vukvukaye - Malenkom Kamne. , Russia, 2011, 105 min, HD, Adventure and Sports, Anthropology, Society
72 years have passed as deer herder Vukvukai lives in the depths of Chukotka. He is an old man full of energy and wisdom - The Real Man of Tundra whose life can not be seen apart from the deer. His people take care of a huge herd - over 14,000 deer. Their life is a non-stop struggle for survival and well-being in the most harsh weather conditions of Chaun-Chukotka. They deeply believe in the strength of tradition and so succeed in their struggle. The ancient culture of Nomadic Chukchi takes care of them, so they preserve and follow it. As far as it is now - their realm remains stabile. This is the Truth of Vukvukai.