"Our Freedom": Sovereignty in Rural Russia

  • Laura Kuen LMU
  • Yury Snigirev
Keywords: human-environmental relationships, rural life, self-sufficiency, visual anthropology, Russia


Our Freedom, the 52 min. documentary film explores everyday forms of individual freedom in contemporary rural Russia. Living remote and mostly beyond the reach of direct governmental intervention, the inhabitants of Pungino village live out their forms of sovereignty. In personal proximity to the protagonists, the film explores the possibilities and practices that emerge when money is scarce, time is abundant, and neither help nor control of the state seems present. While people garden, forage, hunt or reconstruct the local church, they address the philosophical question of what it means to have a good life: the connection with the natural environment and the protective role of community bonds surface as just as important as the capacity to act independently through self-sufficiency and craftsmanship.