On the outskirts of Moscow is the biggest landfill in Europe. It is also home to hundreds of people who have lost almost everything. One of them is Yula, whose life the latest documentary by Hanna Polak follows for a period of 14 years, starting from the age of 10.
Life on the landfill is constant labour: there is searching, repairing, storing and swapping. People are born and they pass away on the landfill. In ultimate poverty and misery, children and adults are on an equal footing. Escape is fleeting and is usually accomplished through drinking.
Polak’s documentary depicts people who society has turned its back on. Despite this, people can’t turn their backs on each other. Communities are forged, where people work together, helping and getting to know each other. In the midst of all the misery, there is nail polishing, dough kneading, hair colouring, falling in love and putting on fresh white clothes.
In the background, there is the voice of official Russia. It pushes even through the radios of the homeless and is repeated in their conversations. The voice doesn’t speak of the people of the landfill, it is as if they did not exist at all. Yet, somewhere they do find a will to exist – for themselves, and for life itself.
Text: Suvi Ahola / Translation: Liina Härkönen
Please note that the film is only screened once during the festival, regardless of what is stated on the printed screening programme.
- Director: Hanna Polak
- Country: Denmark
- Year: 2014
- Length: 110 min
- Age limit: S
- Format: DCP
- Cinematography: Hans Jurrgen Burkard
- Editing: Pernille Bech
- Audio: Dana Bunescu
- Production: Hanna Polak / Danish Documentary Production
- Kinopalatsi 7: Wednesday 28.1. at 20:15