For over an hour the small bus, nicknamed "loaf of bread" because of its shape, has been struggling in the snow beating down on the windscreen. Two Chinese tourists - a young man and woman - have been holding on tightly to their armrests and each other, but are still periodically thrown from their seats. For his part, the driver looks around satisfied: "It’s not just beautiful, it’s a perfect Windows screensaver."
Leviathan, a feature film directed by Russian director Andrei Zvyagintsev, came out in 2014, winning a Golden Globe and a Cannes Film Festival prize. Also nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars, the film tells the story of how the life of a hard-drinking northerner, Nikolai, falls apart. He is helpless against the state that wants to demolish his house. The human drama is enhanced by bleak shots of the austere northern landscape, which Zvyagintsev lingeringly savors
The hostel welcomed me with a hot stove, two rooms with four beds each, a modern shower and a bottle of
Yevgeny takes the Chinese out for a ride along the beach on either his snowmobile or with his car, which can’t get around so easily and often gets stuck in the snow. As for Russian visitors, they organize trips to a neighboring peninsula.
“I don’t really promote the expeditions and am rather reluctant to organize such groups. You can't make money from them; you can only break even on equipment rental," Yevgeny admits.
Yevgeny doesn't like taking tourists on trips on his snowmobile because it consumes too much fuel and is too popular with the Chinese who want to be driven around. So, today he puts a female Chinese tourist on board his "loaf of bread" minibus, but everything suddenly comes to a halt just a few moments later.
"That's it, the trip is over!" Yevgeny announces, and goes to dig out his vehicle stuck in the snow. The "loaf of bread" has managed to go about 10 meters from the house. Tatiana and I use gestures to try to explain to the startled 'victim' that she has to get out. In the end, the Chinese woman makes her way through snow drifts to the road and flags a lift from a passing car in order to reach the other end of the settlement to see the stony beach and frozen waterfall (such a trip will cost between 800 and 1,000 rubles)
After the ill-fated excursion, the Chinese visitor still decides to try her luck at the restaurant, but she was in for a disappointment: only frozen pancakes and green tea on the menu. So, she had to return to the hostel for a
On the seashore, not far from the restaurant, is a small strange-looking house with
At the same time, the temptation to earn extra cash sometimes overcomes Vitaly's aversion to 'slavery,' and he occasionally takes a few anglers out on his boat, sometimes photographers, and even tourists for trips along the coast
"But I don't want to move; I like it here - I have my Venetian way of life," he says, standing against the background of a calendar with a nude model pinned to a Soviet-era wall rug alongside an icon and the Russian flag
At the local House of Culture, which is a two-story grey concrete building with a red roof, people are also
"We're really pissed off with this whole Leviathan matter! The film showed our beautiful landscape, but what an idiotic plot! At least now you don't have to tell the rest of Russia about Teriberka," says Olga Nikolayeva, director of the House of Culture.
The local librarian - a thin elderly woman - was leafing through the pages of a photo album with her trembling hands, intent on showing me the source of local pride. In one photo, young lads are trying to climb into the mouth of a whale that was caught at sea by fishermen
"In the past, the village earned its livelihood exclusively from fishing, and it had almost 5,000 residents," Nikolayeva says. "There used to be a fish processing plant, but it closed down in 2015 when it was no longer profitable. There was also a school, but that also closed because it was no longer worth maintaining. The children and teachers moved to a school in the neighboring village. The few remaining children in Teriberka are now taken to school by bus, with the PE teacher standing in
Today, Teriberka has just 617 residents and a wide selection of picturesque abandoned houses that could serve as art objects or as a set for horror films.
An abandoned school as a perfect Instagram shotVictoria Ryabikova
"At least everything is authentic, as in real life. I wouldn't even build a new road; without
READ MORE: 5 reasons to watch Leviathan
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