Documentary — Finalist
Anton Polyakov/ Moldova (Republica Moldova)
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Self-proclaimed republic of Transnistria is an approximately 200-km-long sliver of territory along the left bank of the Dniester river running between Moldova and Ukraine. For over 25 years the republic has an indefinite status, none of the countries recognizes the Transnistrian independence except other few unrecognized republics. During this time, was raised the whole new generation which identifies itself as “Transnistrians”. The subjects of the story are young people who live in the rural north of Transnistria. It seems at first that they have an idyllic life in the midst of rocks and hills covered in woods. However, except the fact that their state is unrecognized, there is one more problem — the village is dying out. There are very few paid jobs, entertainment, or growth opportunities in villages. That’s why at some point young people have to choose: stay in the village or leave their home to look for a better life. Mahala — was borrowed from the local dialect of Moldavian. This word names an isolated part of the settlement populated by people who are generally friendly towards each other and feel that together they form a kind of a community. Our protagonists are also living their own secluded lives, are separated from the rest of the world and form a community that in the general sense is “mahala”: they have known each other their whole life, help each other with farming, celebrate holidays and grow up together.Back to gallery