"Taiga cleanses you."
Today I received an email from staff at Vice, informing me that they had posted the documentary about Agafia Lykov. I've embedded it above. For those new to this blog, or those with impaired short-term memory, the background story is here: Isolated for 40 years in the taiga. I'm currently reading the book and will probably report on that later. [reviewed here].
This is a remarkable and captivating video. The narration is modest, descriptive rather than judgmental, and consists primarily of the words of Agafia herself.
The images are awesome in terms of giving insight into a way of life that is absolutely and totally different from mine and your own, but perhaps somewhat like that of our great-grandparents.
Find the fullscreen button in the corner of the video and click it. This is well worth your time. Trust me.
Addendum: A Redditor found Agafia's house on Google Maps. Zoom out to gain some perspective on her isolation.
Reposted from 2013 to add an update on Agafia's current status:
This summer she has been bothered by a wild bear, which has sniffed around her huts in search of food.Text and image from The Siberian Times.
'I scare it by banging on an empty bucket,' she said to a group led by Vladimir Makuta, head of Tashtagol district of Kemerovo region, who flew in by helicopter to bring her essential supplies of hay, grain, and potatoes, while also cutting firewood.
In some time the bear will hibernate but this is not the only problem. 'I don't know about how will I get through the coming winter,' said Agafya, who will be 70 on 23 April next year (though some accounts say she has reached this milestone already).
'I didn't manage to finish half of the hay I need for my goats, and some of them are not giving milk. I have six goats now, and I can only milk a couple of them.
'And my logs are not ready. I really don't know.'