Up to 1940-s the island Mantsinsari belonged to Finland, in 1944 it joined Karelia. At that time all the Finns and Karelians went to Finland. And the island was settled by special people who didn‘t fulfil their work quota, frankly speaking – the enemies of the system – the Russians, the Belarusians, the Ukrainians, the Tatars, the Estonians, and simply employers on a contract. About 1500 people came; later on many of the island new involuntary settlers would never forgive this place for their broken destinies, after all. And when Khruschev became the leader – former enemies with their families were impetuously leaving their prison on the water. The people rushed home to their native land, just like flocks of birds after long and tiring wintering in a strange land. They left their lived-in places, their ecologically clean property and historical sightseeing – Finnish military objects of the beginning of the century. In time some died, some left. Only two have stayed – a Finn and a Belarusian – two Robinsons of Mantsinsari.
Her photo was published in numerous newspapers. She appeared on TV. She appeared on TV. She got thousands of letters with proposals of friendship and love. That time, all Soviet Union knew her. This is the film about woman's autumn.
Each day, doctor sits on his bicycle and visits his patients in remote Belorussian villages. Deeply human situations and slow rhytm of the film measured by the movement of doctor's bicycle reminds us about life in its natural circle.
We are Living on the Edge
This film shows the hard way of life of a few old people in a village, " on the edge of Europe ".
Except for one family with a small child, only old people live in this half-empty village. A mobile shop comes there once a week, only immobility of time is left, covering however correlation of complex inner and outer actions. The discovery of slowness and inheritance of Eastern European documentary lyrics is, within the mood of hopelessness and departing, counting on poetics of hints with more emotional charge. The pictures of a specific village represent here the starting scenery as well as a symbol, and the director connects them as they are and creates inner connections of dispute between humility and resignation. The picture is also a witness of pending invoice of one line of a documentary film, the style seems to fight the time, the changes occur only on the surface, unclear, and things which are changing are not the same as things which are unchangeable.
Belarusian President Lukashenko is overseeing a military procession in Minsk's impressive Victory Square. It is a precisely choreographed spectacle in authentic Soviet style. Suddenly, the scene shifts to the countryside where a grubby, elderly man is chopping down a tree. The old man lives in a deserted village, its houses on the verge of collapse." Director Victor Asliuk's contrast of Belarus's rural and urban life is both touching and full of atmosphere. He examines the tangible differences between the young in the city and the elderly in the village and between modernity and tradition, interspersing modern images with archive material depicting the countryside as it used to be.
There are places where the WW II is not over yet. On the former battlefields, which are now covered with woods, thousands of Soviet soldiers lie unburied. Every year some volunteers come there to search for these human remains. They do that so that they could bury them properly. While they dig out the bones in order to bury them again, the apparently absurd cycle earns a new purpose. The Earth does not only reveal the past, as the forest ghosts are rising from an archive footage like spirits of the soldiers killed seventy years ago. It is transforming it to the future, as the teenagers, who have been brought there by their parents, face death for the first time in their live, although they start playing war games on the spot. The film is an elegy which, one more time, reminds one of frailty of human existence.