Documentary cinema

The Lost in the Fields

Genre: A social showcase. A portrayal
Director: Ye. Golovnya, Sh. Dzhurayev

Duration: 39 minutes


A surge of Tajiks’ emigration from that former Soviet republic was highest in 1992, which is the time of the civil war start there. Not only families, but entire villages were leaving. They ran everywhere – as far away as possible from starvation, epidemics and unemployment. Only a few of them received a refugee status in Russia and found jobs they were trained to do. The majority of them though just make ends meet, live almost like slaves, balancing between meager incomes and crime.


Refugees from Tajikistan today are measured in hundreds of thousands. According to various sources, our country accommodates 800 thousand to 1,500 thousand citizens of Tajikistan. The refugee flow is not expected to reduce any time soon. On the contrary, it tends to grow lately. It means that the Tajik labour become a strong economic and political factor.


The economy of Tajikistan today depends much on funds earned by the Tajik labour. They transfer $1.5 to 2 billion to their homeland annually. If we assume that the transfers make 15 to 30 pct of their total incomes, we can come to a conclusion that they make $6 to 8 billion which come close to the entire Tajikistan’s GDP.


Russia is not prepared to receive masses of these refugees. From time to time, the media writes about migrants’ suppression, their subhuman conditions of living and frequent assaults on them. The Embassy of Tajikistan often receives complaints about refusals to admit their children to schools due to their illegal status.


Tver Region is one of 12 regions participating in a pilot program of the voluntary resettlement. Currently, representatives of 109 ethnic groups reside in Tver Region. The dominant ethnic group traditionally and historically is Russian: 92.49 pct. Four biggest visible minorities are: Ukrainians: 1.53 pct, Karelians: 0.99 pct, Belarusians: 0.58 pct and Tartars: 0.46 pct. The most numerous post-Soviet migrants are: Ukrainians, Uzbeks, Tajiks, Azerbaijanis, Kazakhs and some others.


All is not that simple as it looks. Recently, three Tajik homes have been burnt at the village of Pogoreloye Gorodische, Tver Region. After the fires and threats of further violence, twelve of thirteen Tajik families have left. How do those who dare to stay manage to survive? Well, how easy do you think those Tajiks who were forced to leave the country, families and employment, should survive?


This film is aimed to search for a balance in this life, unbalanced by modern times. It is about massive migrations, which became a gruesome inevitability of the modern world. It is about expectations of more quiet times in the reality of tolling days, when past memories and future plans, good and evil, love and hatred, mystery and reality intertwine.


A panoramic shot showing endless Tver forests, showing a field and leaving a bright disk of the winter sun behind, closes on a window of a wooden village hut. Through an intricate ice pattern on the frozen glass we look inside a room. In the room, holding his hand palms together, an old Moslem man is saying his morning prayer. At the window, a big dostarkhan, a platter of Oriental sweets, is seen. Two beds hold neatly stacked embroidered cushions and kurpaches, bright-coloured folded covers, a suzane, a hand-made embroidery hanging on the wall and decorated earthen dishes and cups in an old cupboard are also seen. The room is clearly furnished and decorated in an Oriental style.


To this remote Tver village located on wide spaces of the middle Russia, the Tajik settlers came to live. It has already been a few years as they left their native villages because of the civil war.





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