“the Book of the sea” – this 85-minute film about the marine hunters of Chukotka: Asiatic Eskimos and coastal Chukchi. It intertwined two storylines: a documentary about how the natives mined the traditional food of whales, and animation based on an Inuit myth about a woman who became the wife of the sea giant and gave birth to calves.
the plot of the Documentary brings the viewer on the coast of the Bering Strait. Hence the harsh inhabitants of the national village of Lorino out to sea on whale hunting. However, the mining of marine mammal hunters, not an end in itself.
Hunting allows for the Chukchi and Eskimos to experience belonging to their family, to identify themselves as miners, to feel own force. Exactly the same way the ancestors of these people went whale watching a thousand years ago, – says Alexey Vakhrushev. – The very natural space that surrounds them, filled in the eyes of northerners, the images of the past. All this is vividly for them. The landscape is marked by traces of centuries of human presence, events that continue to exist in the oral tradition, including myths.
to Catch on camera leaving the ancient culture (the film plays it Naukan Eskimos, to understand that now 20 people worldwide), to materialize the images that live in the subconscious of the characters, and wanted filmmaker. A native of Anadyr, eskimo, maternal, Alexey Vakhrushev in 1991 he entered the film Institute, with the goal to make a movie about America.
– On this earth an incredible number of stories, plots, characters, but here who gets a little. I’m sorry that all of this goes! – Alexey Vakhrushev. – Many of those I shot in 1990-e and 2000-e years, was a colorful native culture. Them anymore.
the real storyline of the strip has two main characters, which the Director talks for a long time and with great respect. One of them – Alexander Emelyanov, sea hunter, a connoisseur of the Chukchi language and ancient customs. He studied all of the place names of the North-East of Chukotka and had a great reputation with their countrymen.
At the age of six realize that he wants to be a breadwinner, sea hunter. And though life Alexander Emelyanov worked as a journalist, wrote in two languages, from native to Martirosov environment does not get away. After retirement, he moved with his wife Nina Bulatovna, chukchanci by nationality, in the abandoned village of Akkan near Lorino. By the way, Nina Emelyanova became one of the local narrators to voice the mythological story of the film.
– unfortunately, Alexander died without seeing the picture. He went alone on a hunt and disappeared. For two weeks they searched for him. Then the sea carried the body. The hunter was naked to the waist. So, fell through the ice and tried to get out, threw off his clothes, but the strength is not enough. He was 74 years old – says the Creator of the film. Mortirolo believe that those who dies at sea, leaving life as the true heroes of the myth.
the Second is a character, a documentary of the story – Alexey Anatolyevich from there, the head of the community of Lorino, Chukchi sea, the most famous St. John’s wort. Thanks to him, revived traditional whale hunting. Its natives were forbidden for 20 years until 1996. It would seem that the skills for this time lost. However, from there helped fellow countrymen to return to the lesson of their ancestors.
by the Way, the script of the documentary part was not. The film was shot five years. During this time there have been four expeditions to Chukotka for a total duration of six months.
– All in order to wait for unusual situations in which the heroes would show the national character of the wage earner. Please don’t remove, this is expensive. But we had the enthusiasm, the desire to show the lives of these people for real, explains Vakhrushev.
scenes of the production of mammals in the “Book of the sea” can seem cruel. However, according to the beliefs of eskimo and coastal Chukchi, hunting is not equal to murder.
– a Traditional sea mammal hunting initially devoid of any rigidity. The beast is treated like an honored guest, who comes and gives you the most precious thing he has: fat, meat. And you give him the most precious thing you have – the ritual food and drink. The hunters was a festival dedicated to the arrival of this guest. Then they released his soul home, she returned to the Mistress of the sea. She was clothed in her new body and after a number of years, Keith again came to the people. It was repeated, – says Alexey Vakhrushev.
the Attentive viewer will notice that Alexander Emelyanov and Alexey from there were the prototypes of mythological characters second storyline “Books of the sea.” Alexey Vakhrushev put words first about caring for mother nature in the mouth of a wise Man-bear. But an active, energetic Alexei from there has a huge resemblance to a young hunter who helped his people to return to the forgotten traditions of their ancestors.
For six months continuous operation filmmaker with the main artist Eduard Belyaev edited 35 minutes of animation. Characters – Mayrakan giantess, mistress of the sea, a Man-bear, brave whaler were created in Moscow.
We worked for 13 hours every day and just get lost in the mythical tradition. The characters began to act as they want. Some nuances of behavior “dictated” to us they are. One insisted that it will look exactly so and not otherwise, and the other wanted to wave his arms and legs in this way, the third argued that they will be somewhat different than we had planned. Speaking literally, we were inside the myth – recognized Vakhrushev.
He notes that the animated line is not just decorates the documentary. She is quite independent, developing according to its laws and is intertwined with the real.
– They are each other effect. We rounded out reality from myth in the same mythological space, because the whole documentary is about fishing. We shot only the sea, the place where the hunters show themselves as archetypes of their own culture. Only through the sea they get into certain situations and unconsciously begin to behave as ancestors. This gives them the strength to be yourself and to stand firmly on his feet in spite of globalization – sums up the Director.
the Film turned into an exhibition “the Book of the sea: myth, land and people”. Many clay dolls after shooting perfectly preserved. Leave them to gather dust in the boxes the Director would not. Hence the exhibition of casts of mythological characters, photographs of real characters, excerpts from the film. Alexey Vakhrushev was showing her in the “Far East” in the framework of the V international economic forum in the Kunstkammer, at the festival “Days of Russian Far East in Moscow.” This spring he had planned for two weeks to drive it around the far Eastern regions, but intervened coronavirus.
Then came another project – art album of the same name. Animated images it is accompanied by texts about the history and culture of marine mammal hunters of Chukotka. It will present to public at the all-Russian premiere of the film, the timing of which is also moved COVID-19.