Serene country landscapes and exotic remote villages, dotted by colourful scenes of local life, form the setting of an inspiring new film about a journey through Russia..which is perfect inspiration for me looking to plan my trip to Japan via the Trans Siberian Express.
Produced by Berlin-based neulandherzer, as part of German airline Lufthansa’s “#inspiredby HEIMWEH” campaign series, A Home Unknown, follows German actress Emilia Schüle on her travels along the Trans-Siberian Railway through the most far-flung corners of Russia, including the merging points of the Amur and Zeya rivers.
Leaving behind the nightlife-fuelled buzz of Berlin, where the actress was raised, Schüle steps back in time by visiting the city of her birth – Blagoveshchensk, at Russia’s border with China – and the film opens with a reenactment of her baptism at a Russian Orthodox church.
Boarding the train towards her birthplace, she bonds with locals along the way, cooking with village women and folk dancing, before meeting a shaman in Siberia who gives her an amulet to carry with her on her journey to Blagoveshchensk.
One of the most tranquil and beautiful scenes in the film sees her arrive in southern Siberia at Lake Baikal, dubbed “the most beautiful lake in the world” by locals, riding its calm waves on a boat excursion, and then embarking on an “energetic and epic” run with wild horses before enjoying and a lakeside campfire at sunset.
Heimweh is a German term describing the feeling of having a strong bond to a place
“Dreaming of travelling to Russia and taking the train almost to the very end, I wanted to explore where I’ve come from to shed light on the blindspot of my past,” she said.
“Being here in Russia it made me realise I was less of a stranger than I thought.”
Lufthansa’s Heimweh campaign explores “what happens if people travel back to something or towards something, instead of up and away from a place,” the airline says.
After seeing the trailer, I’m even more inspired to make the trip!