Hot Docs 2014: Pipeline (2014)
The very word “pipeline” is fraught with controversy by this point and probably conjures up images of protests and oil soaked wildlife. But that’s not what you’ll find in Vitaly Mansky’s Pipeline, a visual document of life along Russia’s Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhhorod pipeline. Shot in 7 countries over 104 days, Mansky paints a picture of a pipeline more as a kind of modern spice route, stitching together various cultures, concerns and characters in unexpected ways.
Pipeline not only demonstrates actual connections – people and situations in the geographic equivalent of chronological order – but also illustrates more metaphysical links. As the camera travels along the pipeline, we see multiple feasts, funerals, cultural performances, and animals – lots and lots of animals. What seems to link all of these things is the hardscrabble life to be found along the pipeline, contrasted with the disparity of the haves and have-nots.
There’s also a lot of travel via various means of conveyance – sleds, snowmobiles, reliable feet, and even a train car that doubles as an orthodox church. But though the camera ranges far along with these people, a theme emerges along the length of the pipeline – there’s little opportunity to be found and life is tedious. Pipeline, however, is not tedious. It’s fascinating, beautifully shot, and totally worth seeing.
Screening Times for Pipeline
Isabel Bader Theatre Fri, Apr 25 1:30 PM
Royal Cinema Sat, Apr 26 9:45 PM
Regent Theatre Sat, May 3 6:30 PM
Hart House Theatre Sun, May 4 3:00 PM