In post-Soviet Russia there is a phenomenon beyond ice fishing, matryoshkas and vodka: the garage settlement. Seemingly inhospitable tin sheds from the outside, they offer a refuge to a large number of Russians – most of them men. According to their own taste and beyond any rules, with as much ingenuity as tenacity, they create alternative living spaces within a few square metres.
Scrap collector Ilja uses the garage as a production site, Roman for his quail breeding, Pavel skilfully carves sculptures of saints and Viktor has added four underground floors to his garage in decades of work. Here you can find everything, and everything seems possible.
The garages are an expression of a retreat into privacy, an escape from everyday life. Behind the Arctic Circle, in a rough area dominated by the local mining company as the only employer, the garage remains the last chance for self-fulfillment – and appears as diverse as the dreams of its owners.
Content Warning: contains difficult imagery, violence. Language may be offensive to some viewers.