Siberian Dream 2004
Distributed by Filmakers Library, 124 East 40th Street, New York, NY 10016; 202-808-4980
Produced by Janet Gardner and Irina Pantaeva
Directed by Janet Gardner
VHS, color, 88 min.
Sr. High - Adult
Asian Studies, Religious Studies, Sociology
Date Entered: 10/13/2005Reviewed by Michael Fein, Coordinator of Library Services, Central Virginia Community College, Lynchburg, VA
This production, which is loosely based on the model Irina Pantaeva’s autobiography of the same name, centers on Irina’s desire to not forget her roots and to pass on this legacy to her children. We see beautiful scenes of the West Mongol countryside where her people, the Buriats, live. A narrator and Pantaeva give context to the visuals. Besides these two, her family, friends, scholars, and a Buddhist monk (who describes the resurgence of the local religion) weave their own perspectives into the tapestry of this production. We see how the effects of Soviet Communism, Russification, Glasnost, and the fall of Communism have all come, and gone, with a cost. Yet the Buriats have survived and their culture is now resurgent. All of this is interwoven with Irina’s personal story. The music goes hand in glove with the visuals, making this a delightful and informative production.