Searching For Hell: Journeys to Hell and Back

0 Posted by - November 13, 2016 -
Book Cover: Searching For Hell: Journeys to Hell and Back

Embark on a journey, where most people do not dare to go. To hell. Join six filmmakers in their search for hell around the globe. Read behind-the scenes stories revealing personal, often unexpected, or even unexplainable experiences and events from film sets in "hellish" destinations. Visit wild northern Norway, place of the alleged entrance to hell in Russia and American theme-park-like town called Hell. Step inside a house representing a morbid vision of the Buddhist underworld in Japan and walk around a deadly sulfur lake in Indonesia. See the streets of dark, urban Congo. Hell exists. It’s just not what you think it is.


Korzunovo, aka Gagarin the villager

The building itself looked like it had been built by construction workers who had had more than the one shot of vodka before work. Its staircase was dark and stuffy, so it was easy to step on a stray cat from time to time. The biggest advantage of this apartment was its heating system, and so for the first four days we even had hot water. The view from its window was “spectacular”, as well: a parking lot, the road, and a weapon store that had a sticker on it that read: “Entrance permission for Barack Obama is not granted”.

Altogether, it made us want to explore our subject of the Russian hell even faster....


We packed our gear and got on the bus to Korzunovo. We passed many military fields, full of soldiers and tanks—lots of them everywhere. As soon as Pawel took out his camera, though, a soldier appeared and told us that we were not allowed to film. This time we listened as we were heading towards old Gagarin’s spot—the military base at Korzunovo. Once we got there we wanted to visit Gagarin’s house but, seeing life is not always fair, it was closed. All we could do was take a photo of a memorial board that honored Gagarin.

The rest of the buildings in Korzunowo were empty and dilapidated, a true ghost town of the north. We filmed whatever there was to film: an old plane that perhaps Gagarin had flown, buildings, and goats that walked freely around the base, untroubled by anyone. We were cautious about filming, too, because soldiers seemed to appear out of thin air as soon as we took out a camera. We were told that the soldiers there made very good money, and it must have been true since there were a lot of very expensive cars parked around the base. Apart from soldiers there was also a large group of a mushroom pickers absolutely astonished that we had come here as tourists. All the conversations we had with either soldiers or mushroom pickers always ended up touching on the Ukraine, the military or Hitler, putting us well into a “military zone” mood.