Bells from the Deep

Watch Bells from the Deep

"Faith and superstition in Russia"
  • 1995
  • 1 hr
  • 7.3  (1,040)

Bells from the Deep is a documentary film directed by the celebrated filmmaker Werner Herzog. This 1993 film explores the lives of the people in a remote area of Russia who believe in supernatural phenomena such as ghosts, spirits, and miracles. The film opens with a shot of a frozen landscape and a haunting melody played on bells. This sets the tone for the rest of the film, as the audience is taken on a journey through the spiritual beliefs and practices of the people of Siberia.

Herzog first introduces us to a group of people who are participating in a religious ceremony to honor their deceased loved ones. The ceremony involves ringing bells and lighting candles, and the participants believe that this helps to guide the spirits of the dead into the afterlife. The camera pans across the faces of the people as they ring the bells and pray, and the sense of reverence and devotion is palpable.

The film then shifts to explore the legend of Vissarion, a man who claims to be the reincarnation of Jesus Christ. Vissarion is the leader of a religious sect that has gathered a following in Siberia, and the film shows us various followers discussing their faith and their experiences with Vissarion. We also see Vissarion himself in a number of shots, wandering through the snow and speaking with his followers about his spiritual teachings.

Herzog next introduces us to an elderly woman who claims to have had numerous encounters with ghosts over the course of her life. She shows the filmmaker the spots where she has seen the spirits and tells him about the ways in which they have affected her life. We also see footage of her performing a ritual to protect her home from evil spirits, which involves burning incense and reciting a prayer.

The film then shifts to explore the story of a man who was allegedly buried alive and managed to escape from his grave. The man tells his story to the camera, and we see footage of the place where he was buried and hear his account of how he managed to escape certain death. This section of the film has a surreal quality to it, as the man's story seems almost unbelievable. However, the filmmaker does not cast doubt on the man's account and instead allows the audience to make up their own minds.

Finally, the film concludes with shots of a frozen lake and the ringing of bells. The sense of spirituality and wonder that has been present throughout the film is still present in these final scenes, and Herzog leaves the audience with a sense of awe and mystery.

Overall, Bells from the Deep is a haunting and thought-provoking film that explores the spiritual beliefs of a remote community in Siberia. Herzog's direction is restrained and respectful, allowing the people and their stories to take center stage. It's a fascinating glimpse into a world that is vastly different from our own, and one that will stay with the audience long after the film has ended.

Bells from the Deep
Bells from the Deep doesn't appear to be available from any streaming services.
Add this movie to your Watchlist to get notified when it's available.
  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    1 hr
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.3  (1,040)