Zdeněk N. Bričkovský founded the DÓMfilm company to produce documentary films about the life and culture of small nations. Since 2003 he has been working on a three-part documentary about the Republic of Komi, a small region in Northern Russia with a population of 300,000 people. The Legend of the Bird's Egg is the first part of the project. In the local language, Komi means "people of one family". Local people are proud of their ancestors and know their family trees far into the past. Family stands for order, support, help and joy. Just as they pass on their traditions, customs and skills from one generation to the next, they also share the local legends and myths which are still very much alive in this part of the world. The Legend of the Bird's Egg is an impressive report from a country where the folk magic mixes with pagan customs and Orthodox faith. The region where superstition can mean faith and where a miracle can be found in everyday life. The film is based on the legend of a petrified bird's egg - the heart of a shaman who was fighting against Orthodox missionaries. The heart got lost and if it were found again it would be a great hope for the whole nation - that is why people still keep looking for it. Sometimes it is enough to keep your eyes open because you could find it anywhere.
VORGA - A Path of Two Banks
A documentary film about a dream, tundra and a nomadic nation of European Nenets. Vorga is the Nenets' sacred trail, which the herdsmen have used for centuries to move their herds across the tundra, all the way to the Barents Sea shore. Contemporary Nenets are different... they live in villages, they do not want to or cannot be nomads anymore. The traditional nomadic culture has almost merged with the Russian culture, a nomadic Nenet is disappearing... The oil refineries quickly take up the vast areas of tundra, parts of the sacred trail are damaged by trucks. Yet there still exists the original nomadic life at the end of VORGA, deep in the tundra! Silence and Peace. Rustle of the sea and noise of the wind. Slow time flows and limitless freedom! But only until the helicopter comes... A documentary about searching for the Path of two banks - for a civilization and tradition, the outer-materialist and the inner-spiritual, for what disappears and what stays forever... "VORGA - A Path of Two Banks" is the second film of the trilogy about unknown nations in the north of the European part of Russia. The first episode - "A Legend of the Bird's Egg" won the Golden Kingfisher Award at the 2006 Finále Plzeň Festival.
Them, Us and Skitskoj /A Dialogue in the Editing Room/
The island Skitskoj is located on the North European patr of Russia, in an inaccessible forest on Pizma River, in the Pechora river basin. The Old Believers' community lives there - hidden from civilization and the surrounding world of changes. The documentary traces the progress of the transforming relationship between the Old Believers and us - the filmmakers. The very central point of the film is this Meeting. The documentary joins two stories together - the "dramatic" meeting which happened on the Skitskoj island, and the calm inner "meeting" after the return - during the "dialogue in the editing room" while finishing the film. It is a film about inner barriers, "islands" - isolation, fear and prejudices - on both banks, inside us and inside them. It is a story about the effort to build a common joining "bridge".
Waiting for the Reindeer Yoke
The final piece of four-part Polarion series introduces us to the Izhem people. Time flows as slowly as the Izhma River in this remote part of northern Russia. Consequently, a visit by Canadian students or Czech filmmakers is a welcome distraction. Folklore here is coalescing with the influence of Russian culture, and there is a risk that slowly disappearing traditions might die with the passing of the older generation. That's why the young ethnographer Galina is collecting old songs, customs and stories to preserve the "spiritual backbone of her nation."
A film about people who dwell in Siberian isolation. It is under these difficult living conditions, here in the center of not only the taiga, but also of Russia’s numbing money, aggressive business and TV static, that Yuri Petrovich finds his “spiritual salve”: every being’s escape to inner freedom.“In the world today, I’m a phenomenon,” says the film’s protagonist, “and I belong to a rare breed, very rare, but not completely gone…”