The 59th ZLÍN FILM FESTIVAL (May 24 - June 1) has included Ksenia Elyan's How Big is the Galaxy? in the Competition of European Documentary Films for Children and Youth. The Czech premiere of the film will take place on Friday, May 24.
The Zharkov family-father, mother and two young sons-belong to the Dolgan community, one of the last indigenous peoples pursuing their traditional nomadic life in the extreme north of Siberia. The children used to be sent to boarding school, where they became estranged from their family and culture, but nowadays they can get homeschooling from teachers assigned to them by the Russian authorities. Seven-year-old Zakhar and his older brother Prokopy are the protagonists in this calm, observational film. Zakhar's first year of schooling is with Nelly, a young but serious teacher. She tells him about President Putin and the importance of mathematics, and he learns classical poems by heart. Zakhar is an inquisitive and intelligent boy. Each day, he has a hundred new questions about the world, and he's surprised to discover that his teacher doesn't have all the answers.
The film, which is part East Silver Caravan, had a world premiere at IDFA, was awarded at Moscow DOKer and antropological film festival Varesh, also had screenings at Millenium in Brussels and goEast in Wiesbaden. Currently it is in the programme of DOK.fest München (on May 15 and 17).