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Finland, 2004 (MIFF 2004, Northern Lights 04 New Scandinavian Cinema)

Director: Markhu Lehmuskallio

A Bride of the Seventh Heaven (Jumalan Morsian) Finland

In the vast, frozen expanses of the Jamal Peninsula in Russia's far north, the astonishing story of a woman's marriage to a god is recounted. Shrouded in the smoke of a tiny fire, scant protection against an impending blizzard, an aged woman recounts her bizarre life to a young blind girl.

Numbd Syarda's destiny was sealed at her birth. Omens indicated that she must be promised to a deity; she is one of the chosen few but condemned to an exceptionally tragic life. Set amidst spectacular snowscapes, the authentic action, melding documentary and drama, follows various shamanistic rituals. Numbd Syarda's burden prevents her from having normal social relationships. Her marriage goes unconsummated; her longing for a child unfulfilled. This sublimely serene piece of cinematic storytelling is thase third feature from the directors of Seven Songs from the Tundra (MIFF 2000) and Mothers of Life (MIFF 2002).

'a visually fascinating look at a unique and vanishing way of life at the top of the world.' -Variety

D Markku Lehmuskallio, Anastasia Lapsui P Kristiina Pervilä S Anastasia Lapsui WS The Finnish Film Foundation L Nenets w/English subtitles TD 35mm/Col/2003/85mins

Markku Lehmuskallio was born in Rauma, Finland in 1938. Films include: Paradise Lost (1994, co-dir), Shepherd (2001, co-dir).

Anastasia Lapsui was born in Jar Sale, Russia in 1944. Films include: In Reindeer Across the Sky (1993, co-dir), Anna (1997, co-dir).

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