Catwalk supermodel Irina Pantaeva takes a walk on the wild side as she revisits the land of her birth – Siberia.
While many models can claim to have come from humble backgrounds, few can match her story. Born in a remote Buryat-Mongol village in the dying years of Soviet rule, Irina started work as a model for a local clothing designer at the age of 14. For her pains, the teenaged Irina was roundly abused as a ‘prostitute’, as the fashion industry was deemed synonymous with the decadent West. Nevertheless, with Glasnost and the fall of the Berlin Wall, the West was made more welcome. Irina auditioned for Pierre Cardin’s first Moscow show in 1991 and her career took off, leading her first to Paris and then New York.
Years later, Irina is a respected author as well as a model, and now a mother to her son Ruslan. Yet Siberia is still close to her heart. This film follows Irina and Ruslan as they visit her artist-shaman family and share Buryatia’s hidden history as a proud people who resisted Soviet rule, yet face a new threat from the homogenisation of capitalism.