In Search of Happiness
( V Poiskach Schastia )

Alexander Gutman
2005 - 53 min - Vidéo - Couleur et Noir & Blanc - Russie

Boris Rak is the former president of the last Jewish kolkhoz in Birobidjan. His parents were among the first Jewish settlers to go out there. They had exchanged their horse and cart for a tractor and were among those who had left everything to build the Jewish Autonomous region, created by Stalin in 1928 in a corner of Siberia. Today, the descendents have either emigrated to Israel or moved elsewhere in Russia. All that remains are tombstones with a red star. Boris’s wife shows the rare visitors around the local museum, where photos, busts and trophies tell the story of what the newsreels of the time referred to as a saga of emancipation. Stalin had wanted the Jews to become assimilated... under the threat of death or prison. Yet, the “Jewish paradise” did not keep its promises. At times, Boris wonders to which people he belongs. He sends the little news there is to his son, now in Israel. The kolkhoz has been declared bankrupt.

Author-Director : Alexander Gutman
Photography : Nikolay Volkov
Sound : Leonid Lerner
Editing : Alexander Gutman
Original Music : Pavel Smelkov
Delegate Producer : Atelier-Film-Alexander
Co-producer : Saint-Petersburg Documentary Film Studio


Distributor : Atelier-Film-Alexander


2006 - Cinéma du réel, Paris (France) : Mention spéciale du Jury Internatioanle
2006 - Images en bibliothèques, Paris (France) : Film soutenu par la Commission nationale de sélection des médiathèques