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Happy People A Year in the Taiga

   2010    Culture
In the center of the story is the life of the indigenous people of the village Bakhtia at the river Yenisei in the Siberian Taiga. The camera follows the protagonists in the village over a period of a year. The natives, whose daily routines have barely changed over the last centuries, keep living their lives according to their own cultural traditions. Werner Herzog and Russian co-director Dmitry Vasyukov takes viewers on yet another unforgettable journey into remote and extreme natural landscapes. The acclaimed filmmaker presents this visually stunning documentary about indigenous people living in the heart of the Siberian Taiga. Deep in the wilderness, far away from civilization, 300 people inhabit the small village of Bakhtia at the river Yenisei. There are only two ways to reach this outpost: by helicopter or boat. There's no telephone, running water or medical aid. Follow the Siberian trappers through all four seasons of the year to tell the story of a culture virtually untouched by modernity.

The Eagle Huntress

   2016    Culture
This spellbinding documentary follows Aisholpan, a 13-year-old nomadic Mongolian girl who is fighting an ingrained culture of misogyny to become the first female Eagle Hunter in 2,000 years of male-dominated history. Through breathtaking aerial cinematography and intimate verite footage, the film captures her personal journey while also addressing universal themes like female empowerment, the natural world, coming of age and the onset of modernity.

Cuba and the Cameraman

   2017    Culture
For the past 42 years Director Jon Alpert has been following Fidel Castro and three Cuban families affected by his policies. Their lives put us right in the roller coaster of the Cuban Revolution. Because of Alpert's unique access to the island, and the trust and friendships earned over decades, this film is a candid and revealing never-before-seen portrait of Cuba.

Ascension

   2021    Culture
The absorbingly cinematic Ascension explores the pursuit of the 'Chinese Dream.' This observational documentary presents a contemporary vision of China that prioritizes productivity and innovation above all. Behind all, the ideology used in China to acquire acquiescence from the lower class workers in the factories, restaurants, resorts, etc who are sold a dream of one day being able to join the elite classes if they work hard enough.
Almost mesmerizing with its cinematography, akin to the dreams of consumerism and the narratives of wealth that are being sold to the underclass workers, the film nicely illustrates the Chinese economy of the present.

Cobra Gypsies

   2015    Culture
Cobra Gypsies offers a contemporary and colorful window to the amazing ancient culture of the nomadic Kalbeliya tribe, living in rural Rajasthan, Northern India. Their name means 'those who love snakes'. The film explores their culture of eternal dance, syncopated music, snake charming, colorful fashion and the nomadic way of life of these exotic looking castoffs, ancestors to the modern Roma Gypsies living in Europe today.

Climbing Everest with a Mountain on My Back

   2015    Culture
Every year, over a thousand climbers try to reach the summit of Mount Everest, with the annual record for successful attempts currently standing at 633. But of that number, nearly half were Sherpas - the mountain's unsung heroes. Yet the Sherpa community has remained secretive about their nation, culture and experiences living in the shadow of the world's highest mountain. Now, for the first time, they open the door into their world. Without the expertise of the Sherpas, only the hardiest and most skilful climbers would succeed. Every day they risk their lives for the safety of others, yet they seek neither glory nor reward, preferring to stay in the background. Following the stories of four such Sherpas - Phurba, Ngima, Ngima Tenji and Gelu - this film reveals the reality of their daily lives, not just up the mountain, but with their families after they return home.
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