Braguino, Dir. Clément Cogitore, France / Finland, 2017, 50 mins, Russian with English subtitles
In this documentary directed by the French artist, filmmaker and photographer Clément Cogitore, two feuding families, the Braguines and the Kilines, live in adjoining but otherwise isolated compounds deep in Siberia’s boreal forest, their settlement completely unreachable by road. The families are part of an ancient Russian Orthodox Church sect who sought isolation in order to live according to their beliefs, but the immense pristine forest is both a resource and a threat.
Braguino is filmed from the point of view of the Braguines, the family Cogitore stays with throughout, only filming the Kilines from afar. The families hate each other and there are sporadic outbreaks of violence between them. Before learning of the feud, Cogitore imagined making a film concerned with subsistence and documenting life outside of the pressures of capitalism. The dynamic between the two families shifted the focus, so that it also centres on conflict and suspicion of the other.