After escaping from the gulag on Yakut horses, a shaman and Dimitri the violonist flee through the taiga. Before dying, the shaman tells his companion that the spirits surround him and that they will accompany him during his adventures and encounters on the journey to those vast open spaces where no man can survive alone...
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""Shaman" is above all the tale of an inner journey in which we find the themes Bartabas cherishes : drifting and spiritual quest. For although he claims to fear neither God nor man, Bartabas continually strives towards that unreachable star. "I'm a poet who rides horses and I must fell passionate about my work," confides Bartabas. (...) "We've lost our sense of human relationships and our contact with nature. Man is no more important than an animal, a tree, he's simply one part of a whole. That's what I tried to express in "Shaman" by showing a man who owes his survival to horse while conforming scrupulously to the rhythm of nature."(...) Casting aside the usual cinematic constraints, Bartabas used a great deal of improvisation in the movie.(...) "My film was thus enriched by a thousand minor details that I could never have imagined before filming. It was magical !""
(Bartabas, in an interview with Brigitte Baudin, Le Figaro)