IN PURSUIT OF THE
a film by Anya Bernstein
This film takes a behind-the-
scenes look at an indigenous shaman living on a remote Siberian island as he moves between intimate shamanic rituals performed for local clientele and shows performed at various resorts for Western tourists in search of “primitive” cultures. The film captures cross-cultural miscommunication as the shaman and tourists misunderstand one another, usually comically, sometimes disturbingly, made all the more poignant by conflict between the dominant Russian Orthodox Church and the local shamanic tradition.
Meanwhile, a close look at the early Soviet archival footage of Siberian shamans raises questions about what remains hidden behind the cinematic image, exposing the gap between Western romantic fantasies and the actual plight suffered by contemporary indigenous peoples. READ FULL SYNOPSIS