Savoniha belongs to the “Old Believers,” a sect of the Russian Orthodox Church that was exiled to Buryatia, Siberia, a few centuries ago. Since then, they never ceased to be persecuted. Savoniha, who was 95 years old when this documentary was filmed, witnessed Stalin’s anti-religious campaign, losing her father, one of the main spiritual representatives of the Siberian Old Believers.
“Forgiveness allowed me to enjoy the autumn of my life. Forgiveness is not merely a word, a prayed pronounced with our lips; it is something we conquer inside ourselves. Forgiveness set me free: everything gains a less distinctive shape, each thought is softer and passing by my heart, it doesn’t hurt my feelings.”