SynopsisThe movie где остался домовой / STANDING IN FRONT OF MANY HOUSES has two titles. The literal translation from Russian is .Where did the Domovoi go?. and refers to an old Slavic popular belief. Hence the house spirit, the Domovoi, ensures the protection and peace of a place. The English title plays with the impossibility of a direct translation of this figure and describes through the vivid STANDING IN FRONT OF MANY HOUSES the feeling of being lost in a diasporic experience. где остался домовой / STANDING IN FRONT OF MANY HOUSES plays at the intersection between fiction and documentary film and shows the return of the young woman Natasha to a former home at the coast of Lake Baikal in southwestern Siberia. Her friend Katya accompanies Natasha on her journey with a handheld camera that captures the events.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Natasha immigrates as a child with her family to Germany. The film begins today, twenty years later, when Natasha returns for the first time to her unknown home. Natasha's time in Baikal Port is mainly structured through her everyday encounters with the people who live there. In different situations, she meets them and gets into conversations about employment and living conditions that are still marked by the effects of the Perestroika. While Natasha gains these intimate insights into different ways of living, she reflects on her own position and tries to make a connection with this place, which is a part of her identity. The cinematic drawing of intimate portraits of people living in Baikal Port as well as Natasha’s play- acting as a returning, identity-seeking figure is accompanied by an ever-present recording camera. It shakes, zooms and focuses, it behaves like an autonomous body. This always raises the question of who is the actual experiencing body of this journey – the person behind or in front of the camera?.