In Yakut culture, Ysyakh is a holiday of the summer solstice, the new year, when the divinities of the upper world commune with the middle world, the abode of us human beings. Without any hyperbole, Ysyakh is the most important annual event in the Republic’s calendar, rightfully inscribed into the life cycle of the contemporary Yakuts. Us Khatyn – the locality where filming took place – is located not far from the city of Yakutsk and has a sacred status: According to the mythology, it was precisely here that Ellei, the progenitor of the Sakha, first performed the ritual of worshiping the aiyy deities and the local land spirits. Symbols occasionally pop into the frame – the Aan Aartyk archway, the Aan Alakhchyn complex of worship of sacred places, Aiyy Sitime (the tutelary goddess of the Earth), and the ritual complex of the ceremony of meeting the Sun (Kyunyu Korsyuyu). Tyusyulge festival spaces are set up on all sides (in line with current realities, tyusyulge are often associated with the corporate spirit, with almost every institution or company having its own tyusyulge in Us Khatyn). To refer to my own personal experience, I have had occasion to visit several town Ysyakhs down the years. Everywhere people are roaming around, eating horse and other meats, all in a motley crowd of men, women and children; horses graze nearby, and thousands of human feet kick up great clouds of dust. Up in the sky, hungry kites circle in formations above the buzzing crowd, looking for scraps of food on the ground from on high. This probably gives some indication as to how the ancient hordes sweeping across Asia once looked. There is no doubt that Potapov succeeds in what many other “ethnic” directors have dreamt of but almost never achieved. Potapov charges ethnic tradition with contemporary energy, and in doing so saves it from archaisation and dying out.