• Ruslan Fedotow, Alexandra Kulak
  • Russia
  • 2015
  • 40 min
  • World Premiere
  • IDFA Competition for Mid-Length Documentary
For generations, the Salamanca community of Mennonites has been living in the same modest and rigidly organized way. The inhabitants live in houses built by their forebears, and work in fields first planted by the same ancestors. All the men in this small community in Mexico wear dungarees, check shirts and Stetsons, while the women wear dark dresses and hats with ribbons. In the school classroom, boys sit on the left, girls on the right, all their hats hanging neatly, and separately, on the rear wall. Their only textbook is the Bible. The stylized shots – some silent and still as photographs, others scanning the scene – capture the daily life of a family with eight children. The sisters braid each other’s hair, schoolboys play tag on a sand-covered square, and all the children eat in silence at the lamp-lit dining table. Black-and-white shots of modern-day scenes are accompanied by a voice-over narrating a man’s recollections of his youth. “As soon as I close my eyes,” he explains, “I go back to the past, to the moment when I made the choice that shaped my entire life.” Speaking in the Plautdietsch language, he talks calmly of the strong curiosity he felt as a young boy about the world beyond Salamanca and the Mennonite faith – a curiosity for which he paid dearly.


  • 40 min
  • black and white
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Mennonite Low German
  • Subtitles in: English
Ruslan Fedotow, Alexandra Kulak
Pavel Karykhalin for Stereotactic
Ruslan Fedotow, Alexandra Kulak
Ruslan Fedotow, Alexandra Kulak
Andrey Dergachev

IDFA history

World Premiere
IDFA Competition for Mid-Length Documentary

Browse the collection

10909/14751 results

Share this film

Print this page

IDFA history

This website uses cookies.

By using cookies we can measure how our site is used, how it can be further improved and to personalize the content of online advertisements.

 here everything about our cookie policy. If you choose to decline, we only place functional and analytical cookies