Santra and the Talking Trees. Documentary by Miia Tervo, Finland, 27 min
I made stop motion animations to this beautiful documentary Santra and the Talking Trees. Santra Remsujeva is an old Carelian woman who is deeply in touch with the traditions and she knows all the lost stories and songs of our ancient culture. In the animations I used traditional materials such as lace, embroideries, moss, berries and carelian pies to illustrate the mystical wisdom and forgotten traditions.
"Traditions are a form of love," filmmaker Miia Tervo concludes as she searches for connections between the generations in an alienated world. A young, modern woman who has spent years traveling to faraway places where people cherish their traditions, Tervo ends up in her native Karelia region, in the borderland between Finland and Russia. Here, Tervo meets Santra, an elderly and traditional woman who puts her in touch with the Karelian culture of their ancestors. In this playful film essay, Tervo pays homage to Santra, who acts as a kind of surrogate grandmother to her and is introduced at a meeting of Finnish language teachers as "a living link to our ancient culture." The filmmaker intersperses this portrait with short animated sequences and nostalgic, sepia-colored archive footage. In the sauna, Tervo shows Santra’s wizened body in all its naked glory, like an architectural monument in danger of collapsing. Or a tree of stories, to which Tervo sighs, "I envied all trees because they had roots."
Screenings at IDFA : Premiere on Monday 25.11.2013 at 20.30
Tuesday 26.11 16.45
Wednesday 27. 11. 11.15
Saturday 30.11. 16.00