Ten-year-old Yula has but one dream - to lead a normal life. For 14 years, Hanna Polak follows Yula as she grows up in the forbidden territory of Svalka, the garbage dump located 13 miles from the Kremlin in Putin's Russia.
Yula is a beautiful 10-year-old girl who lives in the shadow of the abundance of Moscow-in Europe's largest junkyard called the Svalka. Situated 13 miles from the Kremlin, just on the outskirts of Putin's big showcase of a city, the Svalka is a huge mountain of trash, 17 stories high and stretching for over 2 miles. It is a fenced, walled-in area, heavily guarded by security to keep intruders out. No trespassing and no filming is allowed here, where inside the dump's walls, criminal activity is unchecked. When one enters the Svalka, he becomes a slave employed by the mafia who run the dump's illegal recycling centers. Vodka is a currency here. For most of the people who enter the Svalka, this is their last stop before death, especially when the cold Russian winter storms sweep across this mountain of waste. Although life is grim and dismal for the Svalka's inhabitants, it also brings out the best in people. They generously share their vodka and last breadcrumbs with each other and ...
This documentary is very dry in its approach, which is a danger in many documentaries, but not this one, because the material it documents speaks for itself in a very touching manner.
The material is extremely heart-breaking and very thought-provoking, to the extent where I was forced to change my political beliefs. It is an excellent show-case of how capitalism can fail to the degree where children are forced to live on a garbage dump.
I was stunned when it was finished, not quite sure what to think, because it is very moving and sad, yet happy, as they are able to find happiness even though they live in a terrible environment.
It is a must-watch work of social-realism. Anyone should watch it.
It isn't a work of propaganda, as the cutting is minimal, there is barely any text or speech which is not by the people, it follows.
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