Ketchup in Tuva – A Transsiberian Treasure Hunt


By loading the video, you agree to Vimeo's privacy policy.
Learn more

Load video

“Few people can realize their dreams. But if you can’t get so far as even to dream, you’re never going to realize a dream, any dream, let alone your own dream.”
In a far corner of Russia is a place called Mongun Taiga, which means “Silver Mountain.” Here, where Siberian forest gives way to Mongolian steppe, one man is realizing a dream: to find ancient treasures of the Scythian Empire buried in the permafrost that has hidden and protected them for two thousand years. He also believes that Genghis Khan is buried there in Mongun Taiga.


1994 – 2010
Length: 81 minutes
Directed by: Eike Schmitz
Camera: Lars Barthel
Sound: Marius Meller
Editors: Vincent Assmann, Mathieu Honoré
Sound design & mix: Sebastian Reuter
Protagonists: Jeremy Pine, Elena Tsareva, Vladimir Semjonov, Alexander Sevseev
Producer: Eike Schmitz
An Atlantis-Film Production
English / with German or French subtitles
Worldwide distribution: Atlantis-Film

In the summer of 1994, Jeremy Pine, an American art dealer with an extravagant sense of romance and adventure organizes the 1st joint Russian – American expedition to Tuva in Central Asia. A few years before, the Iron Curtain had fallen. Now everything seems possible. He is getting to be the first non-Russian to come out to Central Asia and excavate kurgans. Jeremy is in fact, as he himself says a treasure-hunter, an art smuggler and grave robber. But since he is five he always just wanted to be an archeologist.

But it´s a long way; the roads are inundated and the bridges down. The army of expeditioneers travels with the Transsiberian Express and trucks to reach Mongun Taiga, where they want to set the camp for more than a month. They will have time to discuss everything: archeology, art, business, history, ethnology, politics, music, and of course vodka and ketchup.

“Ketchup in Tuva” is a Road Movie with astonishing characters and enchanting landscapes. It is the true story of an impossible journey.