My deadly beautiful city,

by Victoria Fiori


In this beautiful film essay, Victoria Fiori gives us to know one of the most restricted areas and with more difficult access of Arctic Russia, Norilsk, a deeply industrial city where one of the largest mining complexes in the world operates, exploring in large scale among other minerals, palladium, used in electronics and the automobile industry.

In this film, there is a remarkable balance between the natural beauty of the snow and the gelid and luminous landscapes, and the incredible industrial landscapes, the heavy machinery and the darkness.

The author seeks to document this duality in a careful, delicate and close manner, making an approach to the human and the machine, in the sense of this ambivalent relation. The residents of Norilsk are deeply proud of their industrial city, which although very polluting and with huge environmental problems remains the place where they want to be.

“During my time there, what intrigued me most about Norilsk was not its terrible pollution. Yes, the city is plagued by sulfur dioxide emissions that endanger plant life, discolor snow and reduce life expectancy. But what really makes Norilsk extraordinary is its citizens’ obvious pride in surviving against the odds. Residents consistently say they deeply love their city: Wedding photos are taken at gas-shrouded factories and groups climb mountains to admire the view of refineries.” Victoria Fiori

The author's desire to know and stay, both in the places and with people, results in a filmic piece of enormous interest, which reflects in some way how the human being can choose to adapt to situations that put him at imminent risk to himself, and to the generations to come, raising a whole series of profound questions about our impact on the world and how we choose to live into it.

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