“Nobody needs anyone anymore”
There are few Besermyan villages in the north of Udmurtia. In addition, after the official restoration of the historical name, not all of them wanted to join again their fellow tribesmen. Indeed, in Soviet times, representatives of the Besermyan people were recorded in the census as the Udmurts.
The bulk of the filming took place in the village of Shamardan, which is secretly considered the Besermyan center. It is in Shamardan and nearby villages that the majority of this small nation lives. Here, their traditions, everyday life are best preserved. Here you can listen to a living artifact of bygone days – the unique Besermyan melody – a krez, which in our time is also gradually becoming a thing of the past with dying old people.
He is now spreading his knowledge among the people he meets, and he has proclaimed himself the leader of the Besermyans. He spends all his time talking to people in order to strengthen their national self-consciousness. He is obsessed by the idea of the Besermyan’s noble past. The villagers, however, do not share his enthusiasm. They live their daily lives, which are often very hard. Their joy and songs are more important to them than Valerian’s history lectures. Their specific sense of humor and unique way of thinking is sometimes hard to understand, but it is always a source of amusement. All things considered they are a very positive nation living in difficult conditions.
ALL THINGS CONSIDERED THEY ARE A VERY POSITIVE NATION LIVING IN DIFFICULT CONDITIONS
Valerian uses all types of propaganda and he thinks very seriously about what their flag should look like. It is difficult for Valerian to find young Besermyan people to support and spread his ideas, because they have all left the villages. Another challenge he faces is finding support among the elder Besermyan, as their daily concerns revolve not so much around building a nation, but surviving the day. Furthermore, established social institutions outside the villages are often resistant to his ideas.
By doing so, she is attempting to preserve the Besermyan cultural heritage for future generations. A music student in Tallinn, Estonia, Masha admires the Besermyan style of singing not only because of its technical aspects, but because it reflects the philosophy of the nation. She fears that time is running out because the best krez singers are very advanced in age. Every year, the population loses more of its number. She sets out on expeditions on foot to the most distant Besermyan villages with her recorder several times a year. It isn’t easy for Masha, because time is ticking away and the older generations are suspicious: they don’t like strangers. Nevertheless, she is very persistent.
SHE FEARS THAT TIME IS RUNNING OUT BECAUSE THE BEST KREZ SINGERS ARE VERY ADVANCED IN AGE. EVERY YEAR, THE POPULATION LOSES MORE OF ITS NUMBER
These two characters are both living in the same territory at the same time, but in completely different ways. They both raise questions about the importance of national identity, cultural consciousness and its preservation in a fast globalizing world. The efforts made by Valerian and Masha are depicted against the backdrop of harsh living conditions, suspicion and the slow extinction of village life. The Nation is a story full of humor that presents some fundamental ideas about political technologies and the power of folk songs, which can come together to preserve the cultural heritage of the Besermyan in our globalizing world.
Julia Mironova was born in 1977 in the city of Abakan, Republic of Khakassia. She graduated from the Romanic and Germanic Philology Faculty of Khakas State University in 1999. In 2007 she graduated from the Saint Petersburg State Academy of Art as a film director. Since 2005 she has been working as director in television.
- DIRECTOR Julia Mironova
- PRODUCER Alexei Telnov
- CINEMATOGRAPHERS Anton Zhabin, Gleb Klimov, Alexei Bakulev, Marina Levashova, Stepan Bogatyrev
- SOUND DESIGN Alexei Kulkov
- SOUND RECORDIST Vladislav Tsiganov, Teimuraz Chaidze
- EDITORS Dasha Khudoleeva, Svetlana Pechanykh
- MUSIC BY Victor Sologub
- COLOR CORRECTION Svetlana Pechanykh
WITH THE SUPPORT OF
- Ministry for Culture of the Russian Federation (Russia)
- KONE FOUNDATION (Finland)
- Wilhelmina E.Jansen Fund (the Netherlands)
- Original title: Нация
- International title: The Nation
- Runtime: 65 min
- Aspect ratio: 16:9
- Format: Full HD
- Sound: Stereo
- Year: 2017
- Color: Color
- Original language: Russian, Udmurt
- Subtitles language: English
- Country of production: Russia, Finland, the Netherlands
- Production company: Saint-Petersburg Documentary Film Studio,Illume Oy, Cooper Views production
- Distribution company: Ukulele Films
Finno Ugric Film Festival
Gödöllő Nature Film Festival
Ethno Film Festival
World Film Festival
Riga Pasaules Film Festival
“Budem Zhit” Moscow Film Festival
Kunaki North Caucasus Festival
Russian Film Festival
Golden Vityaz International Slavonic Film Festival
The Netherlands–Russia Cultural Exchange Events