Something Better to Come

Svalka: Yula’s Journey

Directed and produced by Hanna Polak

Something Better to Come is a 12-year odyssey into the life of Yula, an extraordinary young Russian girl who lives in the Svalka, a huge rubbish dump outside of Moscow and, against almost insurmountable odds, lives to tell the tale

Yula is eleven. In the Svalka a young girl is extremely vulnerable, especially with such a high occurrence of rapes and killings. Yet Yula dreams, she laughs, she falls in love. She dyes her hair and puts on makeup. She cracks jokes, listens to music and reads magazines found in the dump to learn of the outside world; a world she can only dream of and glance at from her distant mountain of Svalka.

The Svalka is Yula’s terrain, with its own set of rules. As we follow her life, we discover this strange universe, where a bottle of vodka is currency; where corrupt police actually keep unwanted outsiders — such as journalists and social workers — away, in order for criminal activities to proceed unimpeded; and where there are no doctors to treat the sick, those giving birth or the frostbite in winter.

This story depicts a courageous young girl who takes her destiny into her own hands. It offers a unique look into Yula’s daring and deeply personal successes in the face of a daunting and seemingly hopeless scenario. Furthermore, it offers the audience a fresh insight into the attributes of creativity, intelligence, persistence, intuition, love, and the self-realisation required for one to break out of the heart of darkness.

Something Better to Come premiered at IDFA 2014

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