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James Bond 007 No time to die 2020 Daniel Craig, Rami Malek

Trailers for May 2020

Saving North


Saving North is the story of a struggle for human and cultural survival in the mysterious and insular world of the Russian North. An outsider from England, photographer Richard Davies, enters this mysterious and vast region of the world with the hope of documenting both the glory and the tragic demise of its rapidly disappearing Wooden Churches. As Davies meets and becomes friends with the some of his Russian photo subjects, he finds himself getting emotionally involved with their struggle. He decides to put down his camera and get involved with church restoration.

            Early on in our story Davies befriends the famed Russian architect Alexander Popov who is deeply involved in working to preserve and share with the world the beauty and value of these ancient structures. Popov has uniquely discovered and reinvigorated both the tools and processes that restore life back to the North. But it’s an uphill battle against strong and powerful forces.

            Together, Davies and Popov uncover the circumstances that led to the demise of the churches, and then join a small but growing group of passionate Russian citizens and outsiders from all walks of life who join the cause of Saving North.


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Saving North : The film's characters

Richard Davies

 

            Noted British architectural photographer Richard Davies spends ten years traveling the Russian north in search of these disappearing churches for his acclaimed book of photos and essays, The Wooden Churches of Russia. As a result, Davies has becomes well-known for his obsession with Russian churches and the culture of northern Russia. The New York Times and other global media publications feature his story in newspapers, television, radio and magazine articles. Now Davies, somewhat reluctantly, finds himself in a new and unexpected role as one of the global spokespersons for a growing movement to keep the last of these disappearing churches “alive.”

Alexander Vladimirovich Popov


 
            Born in 1951 in Moscow, Alexander Popov originally studied engineering before eventually finding his calling: architecture, building crafts and restoration of wooden monuments and other structures. In 1981 he graduated from the Moscow Architectural institute, and later that year moved to the Arkhangelsk region to be engaged in restoration of wooden architecture of the Russian North.  It was then and there he began work as an architect and carpenter that specialized in Wooden churches and monuments

 

            Eventually he was commissioned to conduct all the production work on the restoration of the church of Dmitry Solunsky in Uftyuga. In connection with the Uftuga project he managed to rehabilitate historical technologies and tools with which church was built. These working methods of restoration would be eventually developed into a set of principals Popov would become famous for. In 1991 he was awarded the State prize for his work -- restorer of the highest category. 

 

            After Popov’s success at Uftyuga, he then worked on a variety of projects both in the Arkhangelsk region and in Moscow. In 2000 he began to work inside the Kirillo-Belozersky memorial estate in the town of Kirillov in the Vologda region. It was during this time that he created his own company in Kirillov, “the Restoration Center for Architecture, Manufacture, and Training” where he works and teaches today.
  

            In 2007 Popov started work on and eventually finished the restoration of the wooden church of Elijah the Prophet in the nearby village of Tsypino. In 2011 he was commissioned to build the Fort Ross Windmill which was finished in the year 2012. Today he continues his work on a wide variety of projects both in the Russian north and elsewhere.
 

Obshee Delo – founded by Father Alexei Yakolev

Father Alexei Yakolev is the founder of the non-profit group called Obshee Delo, which when translated into English means the "common cause.” It’s main objective is to support the revival of wooden temples of the North, and ”unites caring people seeking to preserve the ancient shrines of Orthodoxy and monuments of wooden architecture in both the regions of Arkhangelsk and Vologda, and the republics of Karelia and Komi.”

 

Luckily in the Russian North you can still find amazingly beautiful wooden temples and chapels built several centuries ago. During the years of Soviet rule, a huge number of these churches were burned, taken apart to repurpose their logs, turned into clubs and warehouses, or abandoned.

 

Obshee Delo focuses on saving and passing on these temples and monuments to posterity. Accordingly, Obshee Delo volunteers carry-out emergency operations such as repairing roofs, fixing broken windows, and replacing rotten crowns in foundations. If this basic work doesn’t happen immediately, then many of these wooden shrines will soon collapse and disappear, just as have the hundreds of northern temples that have already irrevocably disappeared.

           

            After the departure of the volunteers, local people are recruited to continue to care of and further breathe life into these shrines. This also helps the process of recreating lost communities.

 

            Since Obshee Delo’s inception, the project has carried out more than 370 expeditions that have surveyed 360 churches and chapels. 153 of these churches have already had the benefit of this emergency response and conservation effort. Hundreds of volunteers are sent to the North annually to perform this work. Any person willing to provide labor and other assistance in the conservation and restoration of these northern temples are welcome to take part in Obshee Delo expeditions.

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