Just before winter cloaks everything in the Arctic night, a few hours of daylight linger in late autumn in the village of Sumskoy Posad, one thousand kilometres north of Saint Petersburg, in Karelia, on the shores of the White Sea. Linked to the rest of the country by a vague muddy track and a stretch of railway line, the village lives in a suspended and mysterious dimension. This is the Russia of endless forests and potato fields. A few robust and uncompromising characters work calmly there, driven by no vital needs. Two small girls have just been adopted by a family. The woman is sweet and soft-spoken, whereas the man is hot-tempered. It is Chekov’s Russia: still happy, yet torn apart, and cold.
We Need Happiness
Torn apart by history, the Kurdish community comes back to life each year during the Spring festival, an ancient juvenisation rite that predates Islam. At the heart of our tale, we find Senia, an elderly woman - the head of a large family, living in the village of Gawilan Botan, in the region of Bardarash, about an hour’s drive from Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan. The film is a picture of a Muslim community in the Middle East through the portrait of a woman, a woman who rules her family with an iron hand.