Celestial Wives of the Meadow Mari
Nebesnye zheny lugovykh mari
The Meadow Mari are a Finno-Urgic ethnic group living on the left bank of the Volga River in central Russia, sometimes called ‘the last authentic pagans in Europe’. Across twenty-three short chapters, Celestial Wives of the Meadow Mari presents a catalogue of Mari fairytales and folklore, depicting in painterly tableaux a culture driven by ritualistic appreciation for female beauty and feminine sexuality. Vibrant colours, breathtaking cinematography and a gentle sensibility strike a harmony between scenes variously tender and grotesque.