Garage People
Russia’s Far North is an inhospitable region where winter never seems to end and the fresh snow is covered by the black soot of industry. Here, on the edge of a city where a mining company is the sole employer, garages stretch out into infinity. Behind their rusty doors you can find just about everything – except a car. These boltholes are the refuge of the Russian man. Within a few square meters, he can devote his inventive talent and tenacity to creating an alternative living space. Each garage is a place for self-fulfilment containing big dreams and a respite from the dreariness of everyday life above the Arctic Circle. Scrap collector Ilja uses his as a workshop; Roman breeds quail in his, while Pavel carves figures of saints. Two soldiers on manoeuvres nearby use theirs to store their equipment. The garage belonging to a rock band serves as a rehearsal room whereas, in a decades-long effort, Viktor has extended his by adding four underground floors. All of them provide an insight into the longings, anxieties and passions of their owners. Together they form a microcosm that reveals a hidden part of society in which there is also room for humour.
by Natalija Yefimkina Germany 2020 Russian 95’ Colour Documentary form


Written and Directed by Natalija Yefimkina
Cinematography Axel Schneppat
Editing Nicole Fischer, Lucia Gerhardt, Markus Schmidt, Barbara Toennieshen
Sound Design Sebastian Reuter, Paul Wilke
Sound Alexey Antonov, Ivan Arapov
Production Manager Jan Philip Lange
Producers Andrea Schütte, Dirk Decker

Additional information

In co-production with MDR. In collaboration with Arte.

Natalija Yefimkina

Born in Kiev, Ukraine in 1983 to Russian-Ukrainian parents, she moved to Germany with her family in 1995. After studying history and literature in Berlin, she worked as an assistant director and production assistant on various feature films. Having worked on several short documentaries, Garagenvolk is her first feature-length documentary and her debut film as a director.


2020 Garagenvolk (Garage People); documentary

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2020