Ovsyanki (Silent Souls) (2010) Film.Director : Aleksei Fedorchenko

Present days. A man and his companion go on a journey to cremate the dead body of the former beloved wife, on a riverbank in the area where they spent their honeymoon.(Imdb)

When Miron’s beloved wife Tanya passes away, he asks his best friend Aist to help him say goodbye to her according to the rituals of the Merja culture, an ancient Finno-Ugric tribe from Lake Nero, a picturesque region in West-Central Russia. Although the Merja people assimilated into Russians in the 17th century, their myths and traditions live on in their descendants’ modern life. The two men set out on a roadtrip thousands of miles across the boundless lands. With them, two small birds in a cage. Along the way, as is custom for the Merjas, Miron shares intimate memories of his conjugal life. But as they reach the banks of the sacred lake where they will forever part with the body, he realizes he wasn’t the only one in love with Tanya…

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The rites and rituals of the Merja people—an ethnic minority of Finno-Urgric extraction originally from the Volga region of Russia—form the backbone of this lyrical, sensual and dreamlike film about love and loss. After his beloved wife Tanja dies, pulp factory CEO Miron calls on his best friend Aist to help him with his final goodbye. With water as a key element, director Aleksei Fedorchenko beautifully weaves the myths and traditions of this vanishing culture into his poetic film. The result is a melancholy and mystical journey following the complex and twisting currents of the human heart. –SFFS

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