Rural Route Film Festival Presents Celestial Wives Of The Meadow Mari

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Rural Route Film Festival Presents Celestial Wives Of The Meadow Mari
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The Clinton Street Theater says
Picture “Beasts of the Southern Wild” in the snowcapped Urals, with two-dozen female characters whose names all start with the letter “O,” and with enough bugged out sexcapades to earn a slot of John Waters’ DVD shelf, and you’ll get a brief idea of what’s in store. –Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter

Fedorchenko conjures a one-of-a-kind film of folklore-based tales rooted in the Mari El autonomous region of central Russia – an area littered with lakes, forests, and long-standing traditions. The Mari are often referred to as one of the last true remaining nature-based pagan societies of the world. In the Meadow Mari, sexual maturation, fertility, love, and marriage intermingle with rituals and nature. Here you will find a woman cursed by a jealous tree, another disappearing as she becomes the “lover of the wind,” and a voluptuous aunt rubbing her flat-chested niece down with her towel in order to pass along some femininity.

The stories range from tender and sweet to funny and disturbing, which Fedorchenko takes an even-handed approach in telling. His method displays more interest in an exploration of the nature of the original Finno-Ugric animist folklore and a fascination with the subject matter that, in another director’s hand, could easily be objectified. In addition to skilled directing and eccentric storytelling, this movie is loaded with incredible cinematography. Beginning with costumed characters playing in snowdrifts in Mid-Winter celebration, through images of erotic ‘peak-a-boo’ in a spring meadow, summer river bathing, and mushroom picking in the Fall, DP Shandor Berkeshy captures the landscape, people and costumes in vivid color and beauty.
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By: The Clinton Street Theater

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