Reindeer Herding Documentary From Yamal Wins Award

November 30, 2010 • Philip BurgessReindeer Herders

A Russian film has picked up the top honors at an international film festival in Bulgaria highlighting the best work on extreme sports, adventure and mountains.

The award-winning documentary about reindeer herders in the Polar Urals beat 80 films from 27 other countries.

“Nyarma” by Edgar Bartenev focuses on the Nenets people, their customs, family relations, lifestyle, as well as the unique tradition of reindeer herding.

The main character in the documentary is a young Nenets guy who, following the tragic death of his father, becomes the owner of a large herd of 3000 reindeer.

Gosha has to take responsibility not only for his family but for the entire neighborhood – the Polar Ural, according to tradition.

Capturing the spellbound beauty of the landscape, the documentary gives a deep insight into the nature of the indigenous people of the North, moving herds of reindeer.

The St Petersburg-based filmmaker, whose famous teacher was maverick director Alexey German, was quoted as saying that his first trip to the North was when he worked as a doctor in an intensive care unit. He was blown away by the Nenets’ permanent state of enthusiasm and their attitude towards each other, their deer and dogs.

“Relations between the people are amazing. I’ve never seen a husband screaming at his wife or offending his children. The Nenets never beat animals,” Bartenev was quoted as saying.


Watch a trailer here: