Armastuse maa (The Land of Love)

Year: 2016
Country: Estonia
Director: Liivo Niglas
Genre: documentary
Runtime: 74 min.
Age: 12+

A documentary film about reindeer, oil, politics and poetry

"The Land of Love" is a documentary film about reindeer, oil, politics and poetry. It tells a story about Yuri Vella, a Forest Nenets reindeer herder and poet who lives in the taiga of Western Siberia, and who tries to prove that one person can stand against the great power that is destroying the environment of the native people. 

Vella calls the Land of Love a piece of the forest tundra where each autumn his reindeer mate. The same area is a favoured hunting ground for employees of Lukoil, a company that pumps oil in the region. For many years already Yuri has tried to chase the Lukoil people away from the Land of Love because the noise of cars and rifle shots and the ruckus caused by boozing oil workers disturbs the mating of reindeer. Yuri uses several unusual resistance methods to chase the oil workers away, including filming the intruders and writing poems on the subject.

Awards & Festivals:

EFTA - The National Estonian Film and Television Award – Best Documentary
Annual Award of Estonian Cultural Endowment – Documentary of the Year
Matsalu Nature Film Festival, Estonia – 1st Prize (Man and NAture)
Festival International Jean Rouch, Paris, France – Prix Fleury Doc
Worldfilm Festival; Tartu, Estonia – Opening film
Cine Blend, Amsterdam, The Netherlands – participation 
Finno-Ugric Film Festival, Tsiistre, Estonia – Opening film
Baikal International Festival of Documentary and Popular-Science Films "People and Environment", Irkutsk, Russia – participation
Anthropological Film Festival at the Jerusalem Cinematheque, Jerusaelm, Israel – participation
Russian Open International Documentary Film Festival “Artdocfest” – participation
Antropofest, Prague, Czech Republic – participation
Ethnocineca, Vienna, Austria – participation
The 38th NAFA International Ethnographic Film Festival, Cluj-Napoca, Romania – participation
International Festival of Ethnological Film, Belgrade, Serbia – participation
Festival dei Popoli, Florence, Italy– participation
Days of Ethnographic Film Ljubljana, Slovenia – participation
Riga Pasaules Film Festival, Riga, Latvia – participation
Vizantrop: Festival of Engaged Ethnographic Film, Belgrade, Serbia – participation
9th International Festival of Ethnological Film „Kratovo 2020“, Kratovo, North Macedonia – participation
15th Arica Nativa International Rural Film Festival, Arica y Parinacota, Chile – participation