A BRIDE OF THE SEVENTH HEAVEN
In the Nenets language, Numd Syarda means "tied to Num" -- Num being the highest god of this Arctic pastoralist people. In the mesmerizing A Bride of the Seventh Heaven, Numd Syarda tells her life story to Ilne ("giver of life"), a young blind girl. Numd Syarda is offered to Num as his bride for life, which leads her to spend much of her time alone -- she is feared by women, misunderstood by men, and doomed never to bear children. Despite her status, she lives contentedly in the shelter of her family. But after they die she must make her own way in the harsh Arctic. Yet Syarda is strong, and despite making many decisions she regrets, she finds the power to save herself. Her sad yet luminous story is filmed in the tundra of the Yamal Peninsula and features a cast of local Nenets people, all new to acting. Their expressions of their own lives, and their interaction with an unforgiving yet beautiful landscape that itself becomes a character, make A Bride of the Seventh Heaven an exquisite exploration of loneliness and empowerment.