DER Documentary

Yankee in Kamchatka - Wilderness Adventure in Siberia

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by Robert Perkins
color, 56 min, 1991

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Kamchatka, Siberia — a remote land of stunning natural beauty. As Russia opens its doors, nature writer/adventurer Robert Perkins is the first American to enter this territory which has been kept strictly off-limits to all foreign travelers since World War II. With his host, Russian wildlife photographer Vasily Peskov, Perkins' remarkable adventure takes him canoeing on a precarious, log-jammed river; climbing to the top of an active volcano; cruising the jagged Pacific coastline, rich in marine wildlife; hiking the untouched Kronotsky wilderness preserve with its snow-clad mountains, bubbling craters, pristine lakes and waterfalls.

He meets Russians whose love for their culture and their land make them dedicated to preserving their traditions and the environment - from an architect who, despite threats from the authorities, is recreating a stately church in his village; to fishermen who resist a plan to dam their major salmon river; to a tribe of wandering Koryak reindeer herders, still living in the traditional ways of their ancestors. Beautifully photographed, Yankee In Kamchatka immerses the viewer in an extraordinary cross-cultural journey that brings to life a previously unfilmed world.

“Breathtaking vistas and stirring adventures make this a wonderful choice for both and active canoeists and armchair travelers.” — Booklist
“Expertly condensed into 56 minutes of spectacular scenery and charming encounters with the Russians... Production values, photography, and editing are uniformly excellent.” — Library Journal
“A fascinating and eye-opening look at an unusual subject...the informal narrative style and technical excellence make this film a winner.” — American Film & Video Festival
“Excellent and unusual documentary. Highly recommended. Editor's Choice.” — Video Librarian
“This is a sharply lensed, well-produced video replete with telling details.” — Wilson Library Bulletin

Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
Blue Ribbon, American Film & Video Festival, 1991

TV Broadcasts
Broadcast, PBS series "Adventure", 1991

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