The Host


Mircea Sorin, ALBUTIU | Romania | 2017 | 40:44
Romanian, Russian with English Subtitles

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The tough life of Cossack Vasile Serghevici Serbov, who lives among the 40 remaining Lipovan Russians in the desolate village Sfiştofca in the Danube Delta.

Vasile Serghevici Serbov is 54 years old and lives in a small community of Lipovan Russians in Sfiştofca, a village in the Danube Delta. He comes from a Cossack family who fled from Russia in 1778 because of the harshness of Empress Catherine II rule.

Vasile lives in a Lipovan house in the village center with Mao, his cat, and a tamed horse.

Since he does not have a steady income he occasionally works as a carpenter in construction. All fishing he does is for his own needs only. Sometimes he barters fish for wine and throughout winter he gets paid for taking care of a friend’s cattle. He has organized seven editions of the “White Gull” Chess Cup, with the participation of people from Sulina, Letea, Rosetti, and Periprava.

Sfiştofca is an isolated village whose school and local store were closed down a few years ago.

The sad thing is that about half of the houses in Sfiştofca are deserted and have begun to collapse. Cattle and horses can often be seen grazing the grass growing on the village streets. During summer they take shelter in the abandoned houses. The village has no running water and no sanitation. There are just a few fresh water wells in the village. Due to excessive vegetation, the fish in the Sfiştofca canal die. These harsh conditions turn basic needs into a continuous struggle for the villagers who are deprived of such commodities as food, water, heating.

Faculty of Theatre and Television