Human Stories 52'

The last winter of the Tsaatan

Deep in the sub-Arctic boreal forest of far Northern Mongolia, straddling the border of Russian Siberia, a unique minority group lives in the sprawling tundra. Practicing the same way of life for thousands of years, this indigenous tribe is among the world’s smallest ethnic minorities and last reindeer herding nomads. But today, the Tsaatan people are facing a threat which may have a great impact on their survival: the government of Ulan Bator wants to force all children to go to school from the age of 6.

For these families, it is a heartbreak. And it is also a questioning of their whole way of life. So what to do? Renounce their traditions to offer their children a different destiny? Or disobey? The Tsaatan are undoubtedly facing one of the greatest challenges of their existence.

Through the portrait of Magsar and his family, this film follows the life of these nomads, out of time, conscious of being at a turning point in their history. Isolated in the taiga, in love with their reindeer and deeply attached to their family unit, they offer us a surprisingly lucid look at their fragile and threatened world.

Direction: Pierre Da Silva & Hervé Bouchaud

Production: Sable Rouge for ARTE France

Languages: French, English

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