Land of the Bears

Synopsis: Set in the wilderness of the Kamchatka Peninsula, the land of legends and the kingdom of wild brown bears, we follow the daily adventures of five wild brown bears. A mother bear and her two young ones, an adolescent male and an experienced male leader. Each of them have their own concerns and preoccupations. The mother must feed and protect her cubs, whilst all they want is to explore the big wide world out there, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead of them. The adolescent is coming of age and must find his place in the adult world, whereas the experienced male must constantly defend his supremacy and impose his strength.
Genre: Documentary
Director(s): Guillaume Vincent
  1 nomination.
86 min



Far away on the edge

of the earth,

to the far east of Siberia.

Nature's wildest wilderness.

A spectacle of raw

and sometimes brutal nature.

300 volcanoes,

30 currently active,

belching out torrents of lava.

Streams of fire

amidst rivers of ice.

A lost land far from man,

far from everything.

One people rule

this immense land.

They're out of sight.

But in fact,

they're everywhere.


at the bottom of the valleys,

in the mountains,

in the heart of the forest,

15,000 to 20,000 bears

are still hidden

under a blanket of snow.

They are waiting

for a never-ending winter

to come to a close.

Eight months.

Eight long months.

In their dens, life has

slowed down for the bears.

Only the newborn cubs

are moving around - clumsily.

Bears don't live in groups

or with a mate.

They live all alone

in their own dens.

Along with their mother,

who will take care of them

for three years.

The cubs are still unaware

of the natural environment

just outside the den -

the snow,

the mountains,

the freezing wind.

They'll have to wait

until the spring,

when their mother decides

it's time to leave,

to discover the world.

For now,

the weather is too brutal.

And yet, in the bitter cold,

one young, inexperienced bear

is already out of his den.

He's four years old -

old enough to spend

his first winter alone,

away from his mother,

away from the twin sister

he grew up with.

He probably didn't eat enough

before the first snow

and hunger has brought him

out of his den too early.

He has to find food.

His life depends on it.

But how can he do it

now that his mother

is no longer at his side

to guide him?

What could he find

in this vast, frozen land?

Beyond the cols

and the volcanoes,

hidden in the heart

of the mountains,

there is a place like no other.

If bears could talk, they would

certainly recount the legend -

the legend of

the Valley of Geysers.

The legend of a fire

brewing under the earth,

of hot water gushing

from the depths of the earth,

of dozens of steam vents

dancing in the wind,

warming everything around it.

Here, it's already spring.

A haven of greenery and warmth

appears out of nowhere

in the dead of winter,

and all around it,

cold and snow.

The young bear

knows the valley.

His mother used to take him

there every spring.

So he tries to find the trails

he trekked down following her.

And little by little,

as he continues to search,

he remembers.

He's getting close.

He feels it.

He was right.

The first buds are already out.

He has found the trail

leading to the valley.

He can finally eat, graze,

and graze again.

He's not eaten for months.

His body has to get used to it

again with plants and fibre.

That's all he can digest

for now.

But is the young bear

really alone in the valley?

No. He senses something.

Like all bears,

he's near-sighted

but has a highly developed

sense of smell,

and that's how he knew

another bear was near,

even before seeing it

behind the thick steam

in the heat of the geysers.

He approaches carefully.

It's been months

since he's seen another bear

and he doesn't know

how this one will react.

This odour, he knows well.

It's the sister

he left behind 10 months ago,

before winter began.

The sister he lived with

for three years

before they were separated.

The sister he used to play

so many games with.

For them, sniffing is like

a hug or a kiss.

They're happy to see

each other again.

They grab each other,

hold on to each other,

hit each other,

displaying both their affection

and their strength.

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