Kazakhstan

Darezhan Omirbayev – Tueur à gages AKA Killer (1998)

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Darezhan Omirbaev (Kairat, Kardiogramma) directed this French-Kazakh film about a young man driven to the precipice in an uncaring world. Marat (Talgat Assetov) works as a chauffeur for a well-known scientist. Driving home from the maternity hospital with his wife Aijan (Roksana Abouova) and their new baby boy, Marat is at fault during a minor traffic accident. The damage payments on both cars put him in debt. Unable to cover costs when the baby gets sick, Marat finds it necessary to follow a gangster’s bidding to murder a journalist. Shown in the Certain Regard Section at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival. Read More »

Sergei Bodrov & Ivan Passer – Nomad (2005)

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18th century Kazakhstan, a vast, pitiless region of austere and terrible beauty, bordered by China, Russia and Tibet. Here the proud and warlike Kazakh tribes have survived and fought for centuries – against invaders, against their formidable Jungar enemies and amongst themselves.
Oraz, a mystic and warrior possessed of great powers, foretells the birth of a new star, a hero. This boy -Mansur – is destined to unite the Kazakhs, and lead them to glorious victory against their enemies. Fearful of Oraz’ prediction, the Jungar ruler Galdan orders his General, Sharish, to find the child and slay him. However, Oraz saves Mansur and delivers him to his father, Sultan Wali. Read More »

Darezhan Omirbayev – Kairat (1992)

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Kairat, the first feature film from „Kazakh new wave“ film director Darezhan Omirbaev, tells the story of a young man from a village in Kazakh steppe and his initiation into life in the big city.

KAIRAT
Darezhan Omirbaev, Kazakhstan, 1991; 72m
“This 34-year-old filmmaker has invented an entire universe,” wrote Jean-Michel Frodon in Le Monde, and he was right. Darezhan Omirbaev may well have been inspired by Bresson and Hitchcock, but he has indeed created his very own universe in the five films he’s made since the late 80s. The disconnected events of his films are simple – a boy travelling on a train from the steppe to the city, riding on a bus, going to a movie and brushing bare arms with his date, wandering through a train yard. But every form, every movement, every gesture seems to have found its precise poetic place, and the emotional terrain contained within his first feature feels as vast as an ocean. Kairat is the name of Omirbaev’s autobiographically inspired hero, who moves through life exactly as many of us do when we’re adolescents – awkwardly, in bewildered confusion, guarding a wealth of emotions deep within us like a buried treasure. One of the best films of the 90s. Read More »

Rustam Khamdamov – Vokaldy Paralelder AKA Vocal Parallels (2005)

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The movies of Rustam Khamdamov are impossible to find in the West, and for the most part in his native Russia as well.

Vokaldy paralelder [Vocal Parallels] , which happily has reached its audience, but only after nine years of production due to numerous obstacles and stoppages. What is THIS film about? Again, no definite plot, but a kind of a concert-film. You most probably exclaim in astonishment, absolutely disappointed: What?! A concert? Yes, it’s a surreal, impressionistic concert of classical opera pieces performed by several retired Soviet opera divas: Roza Dzhamanova, Araksiia Davtian, Bibigul’ Tulegenova, and the late Erik Salim-Meriuert (Kurmangaliev), a fantastic countertenor. Read More »