The Search (Official Trailer)
Starring: Bert Ribul with Saku Kaarnanen, Erik Laev and Anar-Erik Kütsar
Director/DoP/Color/Edit/Sound & Foley/Animation: Dmitri Shushuyev
An intimate artful look at a life of an extreme sports professional coming from a small country, his search to find himself within life, within the sport of BMX Freestyle and the hardship that is an integral part that one has to overcome in order to proceed with the craft further.
Coming from a small country and being able to get noticed on a world stage with an extreme sport that does not have any representation within the country of the characters’ origins, is not an easy task. There were and are still a few of these athletes in this country, Estonia, but none quite like Bert Ribul, who managed to grab the attention of quite a few people all across the globe and became a known person in this extreme sport.
This is a documentary story of love/hate relationship where the director looks at most recent events in the life of Bert Ribul who is still in search of himself and the sport that he is a part of, which is BMX Freestyle and a discipline called Flatland.
This film is a character driven story that takes the viewer on an intimate journey through observational excerpts from the daily life of Bert Ribul, which differs quite a lot from the top professional riders in his field or any other sport for that matter by him actually working for a living. This documentary includes excerpts of Bert Ribul earning his living by working at an extreme sport’ facility as a cashier, practicing and recording tricks for DVDs, online contests. It also explores the mental and physical preparations towards future events/contests in his career. The story also explores Bert’s encounters with his peers from Finland and also from Estonia whom he knows through BMX freestyle. In the duration of the film the audience gets to see how difficult it is for the main character, Bert, to juggle between work and BMX freestyle, how much time needs to be put into invention of brand new tricks and how little time there is for that due to work that brings it all to a race in a way. It is a fight that is spread out throughout many places in the course of a year. This time pressure and pressure within himself gets to a point of combustion. A motivational drop towards the sport, towards working life is under question. On top of this all a news comes in that 2017 is the year where a big sponsor drops Bert out of the program that supported his travels last year by which he got to be 8th in the world. This also affected his motivational levels and whether to continue with pursuing with riding or not.
At times it happens that once you get to a high level with your craft, as Bert was, sometimes one crashes or stumbles along the way that even the one thing that made sense turns into a big question mark.
The invention of a brand new trick also takes a huge toll both time wise, physically and mentally. As the time pressure wasn’t enough, the battle within oneself to create something that has been only an idea for over 5 years with a few attempts here and there, and actually have it accomplished or seen through to the end is a no easy task.
However, the only way is straight through the impossible, through the pain, through the demons of the past injury, through the sponsor stopping the support. Bert realises why he started BMX freestyle in the first place. It’s not for a company, not for a logo. Riding is an art form. It’s pure creation and that riding for himself is the way to go about it since that’s where it all started from.