You can use a garage to keep chickens, park a plane, or rehearse with your metal band. In it, you might carve religious icons, do some welding, collect military paraphernalia, or let your eight dachshunds run around. In short, a garage is the perfect refuge for anyone wanting to daydream, enjoy their hobbies, or just get some peace and quiet.
Row upon row of well-used garages stand on the outskirts of a mining town in northern Russia, their red, blue, yellow, or green doors forming a colorful contrast to the dreary surroundings. You’ll rarely find a car behind these doors – each one is a portal to a different parallel world. And each garage owner is the king of his own castle, a place where he can down his vodka without being bothered by anyone.
In her widely praised documentary debut, director Natalija Yefimkina patiently observes these “garage people.” The striking and exquisitely timed sequences of snapshots become amusing and acerbic vignettes. We see Viktor, for example, who once had the idea to do a little digging – three decades later, he’s dug a hole that’s five stories deep. His baffled grandson inherits this bizarrely deep hole in the ground, obviously mystified about what exactly he’s supposed to do with it.