Video Artist: Eléonore de Montesquiou
Country: Year: Duration: 23 min 6 sec


Camera and editing: Eléonore de Montesquiou
Original music: Tatjana Kozlova
with Sasha Kaliadine and Nastia Kaliadina

This film was made on the lake Peipsi which marks the border between Russian and Estonia.


Sasha is a fisherman. In the winter, he goes out with others for one day, on the frozen lakes and rivers. Each of them makes a hole in the ice and stays sometimes all day long, in the cold, waiting for the fish. It is both a common passion the fishermen share, leaving together for the daily adventure, and a very solitary one, they all sit apart from each other and hardly communicate.

Sasha grew up in Ivangorod, his parents were given an apartment in the highest building of the city, overlooking the river, the bridge, in a word the border. Now Sasha is in his late twenties, he works in Kreenholm’s fabric, in Narva –Estonia- he walks the Russian-Estonian border daily, he goes out at night in Saint Petersburg and doesn’t speak a word of Estonian

My film is a portrait of Sasha, of his silent fishing, how he is organised to resist the cold. Through this individual portrait, his words raise the issue of Ivangorod’s particular situation: what does it mean to live right on a border?


Eléonore de Montesquiou

Eléonore de Montesquiou (born in 1970 in Paris, France) is a French-Estonian artist.

Eléonore de Montesquiou’s work revolves around the articulation between private and official histories, personal and national identities. It tackles the intricacies and ambiguities of living in the margins, based on her personal experience of up rootedness. Eléonore is primarily working with video, she tapes testimonies, creating prosthetic memories of repressed histories. In her documentary-informed works, her camera becomes the voice of these voiceless people. Her work is based on a documentary approach, translated in films, drawings and texts; it deals mainly with issues of integration/immigration/meaning of a nation in Estonia, giving voice to the Russian community. A few years ago, she started working with asylum seekers from French speaking countries in Estonia.