Condemned to the Freezer

Synopsis | Information

The Yemal Peninsula, north of the Arctic Circle. Noviport is a survival from the Soviet urbanization experiments in the extreme North, a forgotten village of “Socialist pioneers” at the mouth of the Ob. A struggling fishery is its only reason for existence.

In Spring, to take advantage of the migration of fish under the ice on the river, holes are cut in the ice pack. Trucks, the only means of transport, travel on the immense frozen estuary while the ice holds.

It’s a dangerous race against time and disaster to fill the fishery’s coolers – kilometers of galleries dug into the permafrost by prisoners in camps during the Stalinist era.

For the women workers, the truck drivers, and the fishermen, life is hard and the stories they tell are often poignant. In their own words, sometimes marked by resignation, sometimes by revolt, these Siberians tell of their lives…

Video excerpts

French | English