The Ghost of Piramida

  • Andreas Koefoed
  • Denmark
  • 2012
  • 57 min
  • International Premiere
  • IDFA Competition for Music Documentary
Last century, the Soviet Union built the mining town of Pyramiden, not far from the North Pole, on the island Spitsbergen in the Norwegian Svelbard archipelago. The Russians who went to work there were dreaming of a better life, but that dream didn't last long. The settlement has long since been abandoned. Three members of the Danish band Efterklang travel there to sample the atmosphere and make field recordings for a new album. They tap, rub and blow into everything they can find, shoving planks back and forth, climbing into pipes, and recording the sound of stacks of Soviet documents falling to the floor. The scenes of recording in Efterklang are interspersed with archive footage from a former inhabitant who moved to the settlement in 1946. In voice-over, he talks about life in Pyramiden: the expectations, the work and getting used to the extreme climate, as well as how, during a skiing competition, the people there came face-to-face with a polar bear. Described at the time as "the pearl of the Soviet Union," the photogenic town was a rewarding subject for photographers and filmmakers alike. And even now, the abandoned buildings with photos still hanging on their peeling walls are a fine visual complement to their surroundings.


  • 57 min
  • color / black and white
  • video
  • Spoken languages: Danish, English, Russian
  • Subtitles in: English
Andreas Koefoed
Andreas Koefoed
Andreas Koefoed, Alexander Ivanovic, Sophia Olsson
Jacob Schulsinger
Peter Albrechtsen

IDFA history

International Premiere
IDFA Competition for Music Documentary

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IDFA history

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