Marina Und Sascha, Kohleschiffer

Marina Und Sascha, Kohleschiffer

Synopsis

"Waiting 'as if for God', two Russian sailors, Marina and Sascha, look forward to the ice-free season on Lake Baikal, where they transport coal on their barge. They take loads on board in Kultuk, and unload them in Barguzin, where they live. This is a precarious business, and they depend on the orders they receive, of which there are fewer and fewer. This would however be the perfect job for Sascha, the silent captain, and Marina, who's occasionally compared to a seal. She loves the lake, she even loves the storms. During their trips the two work together without quarreling.

In her portrait of these two individuals Ivette Löcker also successfully evoked post-Soviet Russia: The harbormaster talks about 'solidarity', though he isn't always able to help; the workers in the coal port need plenty of time each morning before they're able to 'get going'; the tourists take pictures of the garbage rather than the countryside's rugged beauty. Marina and Sasha, Coal Shippers is the story of two individuals who don't have an easy life, though they don't complain: all they know about other lifestyles is what they've seen on television, and they're satisfied with what the lake gives them. The job they do is wholly bound to the place and an economic system which doesn't have a future. Marina and Sascha are facing new challenges, and the film accompanies them on one last perfect crossing of Lake Baikal, this natural wonder where time seems to stand still, but only apparently." – Bert Rebhandl (Translation: Steve Wilder)