Scarlet Sunrise

by Edu Grau & Ed Edwards

UK, 2007

Director - Edu Grau & Ed Edwards
DP - Edu Grau

Ed is a good friend. A bit crazy, but only like genius can be. He phoned me out of the blue one day and asked me if I was up for going to the Arctic, to a little Russian village that is hardly mentioned in internet, he said, Barentsburg. I googled it. Only a couple of photos in the early days of internet. But sometimes filmmaking is a matter of trust. And off we went.

Cold, it was cold. But it was also amazingly beautiful and the people we met there was just unbelievable. The sun in the Arctic (when it appears)  is soft and low, slightly warm and the old communist architecture and decoration is simply so aesthetic that framing is very easy.

We wanted to portrait a place. We wanted to portrait the people. But we had only 5 days. And we wanted to keep the camera still, in the style of the photographers that we both love like Parr and Mikhailov: funny, but at the same time close  and loving with the people we were portraying.

The plan was everyday the same: let’s go out and see what happens. And it was impressive the amount of things that happened in front of our camera. 

We arrived randomly at the hospital one morning and there she was, Tania, standing in front of the door waiting for someone to come in. We asked her (with signs) for a tour around the hospital. That is our favorite scene. Shortly after, the dentist arrived: a miner had to have his teeth pulled out. Brilliant! And then Vassily, the doctor, came and show us the operating theatre, where we all played with the laughing gas and the defibrilator. Unforgettable!!