The Party Film Sales has debuted the trailer (below) for Alexander Abaturov’s “Paradise,” premiering in IDFA’s International Competition. The film is produced by Rebecca Houzel for French outlet Petit à Petit Production in co-production with Abaturov for Sibériade, Luc Peter for Intermezzo Films and ARTE France Cinéma.
“Paradise” is set in the summer of 2021, when an exceptional heat-wave and drought led to giant fires ravaging millions of hectares of land in northeastern Siberia. In this region, at the heart of the taiga, lies the village of Shologon, soon to be coated by a thick cloud of smoke. Spread by the wind, the black ashes carry alarming news: the forest is on fire and the flames are fast approaching. The government having left them to fend for themselves, the inhabitants must rally to fight what they call “the Dragon.”
This visually powerful film is interwoven with a Sakha fairy tale about the wind blowing over the sacred mountain. This traditional tale has suddenly become grimly topical, now that the wind is bringing the flames ever closer. The camera accompanies the men as they enter the fire zone, to quench the flames. This inferno is potent evidence that climate is changing faster here in the polar regions than anywhere else.
The film is Abaturov’s second feature-length documentary, after his debut “The Son” premiered in the Berlinale Forum in 2018.
The Party’s IDFA slate also includes IDFA Frontlight premiere “The Lost Souls of Syria” by Stéphane Malterre and Garance Le Caisne, a probing account of attempts in various European countries to chart the crimes of the Syrian regime and bring the perpetrators to justice, and Best of Fests titles “We, Students!” by Rafiki Fariala and “Polaris” by Ainara Vena.