Jesus Lives in Siberia 

Producers: Margus Õunapuu, Kaarle Aho
Production company: Film Tower (Estonia), Making Movies (Finland)

Directors: Jaak Kilmi, Arbo Tammiksaar

Language: Russian with Estonian and English subtitles

Current status: Completed

Festivals: Artdocfest 2015 (Russia), Jihlava IDFF 2015

 

In a remote taiga of Siberia there lives a religious leader who calls himself Christ Vissarion, a reincarnation of Jesus Christ. Thousands of followers have gathered around him, among them bell-ringer Dmitri and his wife Sveta, who came to live in the taiga with her three children a couple of years ago from faraway St. Petersburg. But Magomed, the father of Sveta’s children – Mariam, Danial and Zaur – won’t leave it at that. He decides to write a letter to the administration of Russian president, demanding to have his children back. The snowball starts rolling…

 

Arbo Tammiksaar, one of the film’s directors, moved his family to Siberia to live with Vissarionites for a year. He observed Danial, Mariam and Zaur at home and at school, their relationships with their parents and the Teacher, friends and playmates in this heaven on earth in the middle of Siberia’s endless taiga. Important questions arise from the panoramic story of a family: what is it like for children to grow up in a religious community cut away from civilisation and do parents have the right to decide their children’s destiny?

Estonia, Finland | Doc, Social Issues | 85 min | 2015