Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
Prazdnik Neptuna is a popular short satirical comedy directed by Yuri Mamin, who's best known for his movies Fontan and Window to Paris. The movie was awarded top prizes at festivals in Mannheim, Kiev and Gabrovo. The Russian village of "Small Hills" once had a thriving Polar Bear club, a group of hardy men who would cut holes in the ice in local lakes and take a swim in the frigid waters. Though the group has dwindled down to about five, somehow a journalist gets the notion that there are a hundred and fifty townspeople who participate in this odd entertainment. Even that wouldn't be a problem if the Russian bureaucracy hadn't decided to bring in a group of Swedes who want to see this amazing feat of endurance for themselves. Now the entire village has gathered to await the tour bus containing Swedes hoping to witness an insane celebration of bravado. Some of the men have even been dragooned into a band which is serenading the event while wearing no clothing on their upper bodies of any kind. Since it is winter, they are obviously rather uncomfortable. When the Swedes do finally arrive, the villagers shuffle around nervously, as no one is willing to take the first plunge. Finally, in a spirit of "what the heck" anarchy, large groups of them get into the spirit of the thing and take a plunge into the icy waters.
ice, swimming, Winter