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Documentary Review: “Something Better to Come” (2015) ★★★★★


Courtesy of Hanna Polak

Everyone in our world deserves having a better life. A life that can be not just promising for them only, but for their next generation as well. But there are some group of people who come and leave this world without being noticed, helped, and totally ignored. Being forgotten means someone remembered you. But those who live in the big garbage dump of Putin’s Russia are not fortunate enough to have the privilege of being remembered by anyone, because those who do will soon share their fate as well. SOMETHING BETTER TO COME, directed by Hanna Polak, follows over 14 years of life of 10-year-old Yula who is growing in the Svalka, the largest junkyard in Europe, just 13 miles away from Kremlin. Her only dream is to have a normal life, because the life she has in the dump is like living in hell….

Watching SOMETHING BETTER TO COME without tears is almost impossible. And especially, when you sit in your warm house, surrounded by family members, beautifully furnitured flat, while the subjects of Polak’s film have only one place to live – a dumpster. When the film begins, we find Yula still 10-years-old, already mature, smoking cigarettes, drinking alcoholic drinks, and collecting the garbage that recently has being thrown into the dump. Watching her life and the life of those who surround her is painful, and may cause a heartache. As the film progresses, and months turns into years, we find out about Yula’s father, who left this life too soon. Her mother, who struggles as everyone around her to support their children or even their own life, because the police sometimes arrive and destroy their houses and ask them to leave the dump. But where else can they go if the government treats them as a trash of society that should be cleaned up?

As the year passes in the film, and as the winter arrives, we find Yula and her friends using snow to replace the water. The food they must eat could have easily poisoned them, and probably does, we’re just not aware of it. But each time we have to follow Yula’s life, we see how her determination grows as she is never certain if this is the life she wanted to have, or the child she expects at her young age. Polak’s film is truly powerful, uplifting, and meantime very sad. However, you are certain in one thing that there is always a way out of it. Out of a terrible life that brings you nothing but struggle of a hardship filled life in the dump, and the fear of being attacked, or even worse, being raped by someone, and then left like a useless thing.

SOMETHING BETTER TO COME is a film about troubles, ignorance, about people whose lives are treated by the government like they don’t deserve even the dump they have. It’s about broken dreams, but raised hopes. It’s about believing in yourself, and your future. It’s about what you want from your life, and how you’re going to change it. It’s a story of one person who will find a way out of it, to have a life, a better future for her child. It’s about personal achievement thats hard to reach in the big city, when no one except people in the dump know about your existence. It’s about the fight that always matters, when you know something better should come out as you continue your fight.

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