Keywords:Kamchatka Peninsula, Itelmens, sable hunting, endangered languages, Far East of Siberia
"Itelmen stories" is a poignant tale of the social and personal significance of a language that is near the end of its existence as an orally transmitted means of communication. The film presents both the speaking of the Itelmen language, as it exists today and the meaning of using it in the past and the present. The action in the film revolves around an ancestrally used practice of hunting sable by net. Set in rural Kamchatka in the Russian Far East, where fewer than 20 speakers of Itelmen remain, the film goes beyond its original aim to recapture a language and a hunting practice that are remembered but no longer in use. Two hunters encounter the wild environs and villages of Kamchatka as a history laden homeland and memories, nostalgia, resignation and hope echo throughout the film.
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