Enrico Pizzolato & Gabriel Tejedor
Switzerland | 2014 | 80 min
Languages : French, Russian
Subtitles : French, English
An artist from Fribourg with a 30-year interest in the gulags travels the length of a 2,000 km road built by the internees of the Kolyma camps to provide access to the goldmines. All along the route, he encounters former prisoners and camp guards, and guides us towards the impressive machinery of the Soviet era; a sensitive film on the preservation of memory.
André Sugnaux, an artist from Fribourg with a 30-year interest in the gulags, travels the length of a 2,000-km road built by the internees of the Kolyma camps in Russia to provide access to the goldmines. Through encounters with camp guards or former prisoners, the filmmakers aspire to “explain why we must remember, even if the history of Kolyma does not directly concern us.” (EP, GT). Despite the dissolution of the USSR, official Russian history often neglects the dark chapter related to the gulags and is little inclined to remember the testimonies of survivors or of the families of the many victims. All along this journey, we find the skeletons of an abandoned mine and huge machines straight out of the Soviet era, still used today for sieving gold. Although there are no longer political prisoners here, there are those who remain prisoners of the economic system, the most destitute now working to mine gold. La Trace reminds us that we can recount History through pictures and that this cinematographic tool can reveal the areas omitted by public official speeches.
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