FR, BE, NO, FI

In development

Nenets vs Gas

The Yamal peninsula, which means “end of the land”, is the territory of the Nenets. It’s a large region in north-western Siberia, well above the Arctic Polar Circle. It’s on this territory that the Nenets, princes of the Tundra breeders of deer, have been spreading out for 5000 years. But for how much longer? For Yamal has become the Russian gas safe. The discovery of massive gas deposits has whetted the appetite of oil corporations such as Novatek, Total, the Chinese National Petroleum Corp. From Yamal start the pipelines that supply Europe with cheap gas. In 2020 Russia will become the World’s largest producer of natural gas, mainly originating from the Yamal peninsula and the Kara sea.
Today, the deer dedicated space is overrun by pipeline networks, railroads and port facilities. These installations obstruct transhumance paths, pollute water and make pastures become scarce. Russian authorities have no compensation planned for the Nenets witnessing their villages turning into cities. Boarding schools are imposed on young Nenets. At Yar-Sale, teenagers dream of a blond and blue eyed husband and hum Korean Music.
In this hostile environment, Nenets are still the only ones inclined to preserve an ancestral way of life. With their flock, Vassily and the First brigade travel each year from North to South of the Siberian peninsula for a long journey of 1 000 km in order to find pastures of white lichen, essential to the survival of the deer.
Is the fight between these two worlds a losing battle?
How do the Nenets get organized to fight? Who support them?
This feature documentary – a polar western and an environmental investigation film - questions our civilization around the contemporary equation: Nenets or gas?
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