Aleksei Fedorchenko • 2010 • Russia
An evocative exploration of the mysteries of love, existence, and death, Silent Souls charts an unexpected journey into the Russian hinterlands and its nearly-forgotten people.
Following the sudden death of his wife, Miron is at a loss. His tough-guy façade gives way to grief, then the singular determination to lay her body to rest according to the ancient burial rituals of the Merya people, a Finno-Ugric tribe that has all but disappeared. He recruits his friend Aist, a taciturn writer, to join him on an unlikely road-trip—across the vast, desolate landscapes of Central Russia, accompanied by a pair of caged birds, his wife's body, and indelible memories from his marriage.
Aleksei Fedorchenko's first film premiered at the Venice Film Festival, where it won Best Cinematography and the FIPRESCI Prize. Silent Souls is a New York Times Critics' Pick.