A Barrel Full of Dreams

Coproduction: interscience film, NDR, ARTE, MFG, UGRA TV
25.07.2009, ARTE

A Documentary by Pierre-Olivier François and Pierre Bourgeois

This is the story of the rise of Khanty-Mansiysk, a Siberian region over 3000 kilometres from Moscow, a cold and inhospitable place – which has become something of an economic Eden. The region stores about 60% of Russian oil resources under its soil. Thousands of workers, better paid than anywhere in Russia, flock to the region to extract it generating an economic and social revolution.
Thanks to this financial wealth, the local governor has the means to promote infrastructures and cultural activities, hoping to seduce the new arrivals into staying in this hostile place.
This “eldorado” is a metaphor for the whole of Russia, but on a small scale. Khanty-Mansiysk is at the source of power in Russia and at the source of Russia’s power in the world. A place which bears, with over-sized ambition, the new Russian project.