1993 dir. Werner Herzog.
Presented in an early form of Herzog’s signature style, Bells From The Deep offers a charismatic and solemn look at religion and mysticism in post-Soviet Russia. Although the film does not give a complete overview of religion across the country (it does not even touch on Islam) the filmmaker instead focuses on figures ranging from the self-proclaimed reincarnation of Christ to the orphaned bell-ringer Yuri Yurivich Yuriev. Through these characters Herzog forms a series of deeply powerful vignettes that reflect the world in which they live and adds familiarity to an otherwise foreign setting. A hugely somber film that seems to echo the holiness of its subjects, it is slow, methodical and filled with touching and quiet spectacle throughout.
Check out if you like: Herzog, bleakness and God
Avoid if you dislike: Deliberately slow-paced documentaries, unsettling future cult leaders