Man follows birds is a coming-of-age story of a young uzbek poet surrounded by violence.
Farouk is fascinated by trees and Khamraev films him with a lot of melancholy and tenderness. Cast apart because he’s poor and his father’s drunk, Farouk is not happy in his village. When his father dies, he decides to go in the mountains with his best friends.
Looking for nature at its purest, the two teenage boys have to deal with the cruelty of violent barbarians. Their trip will also make them meet a lost orphan girl and a wise beggar.
Among freezing landscapes, the film is not only a simplistic vision of uzbek poverty. Farouk’s dreams, his surreal hallucinations are carried with an enchanting music.
When he talks about this film, Khamraev uses humour and sarcasm: « One day, a producer came and told me : Tomorrow, you start shooting the film » even if there was already a director who started it! ». Seduced by the story, he did what he was told to and it led to a great film. —Camille Lecoq
Ali Irgashaliyevich Khamraev (Russian: Али Иргашалиевич (Эргашевич) Хамраев; born Tashkent, 19 May 1937) is an Uzbek director who is best known in the former Soviet Union for his work in the 1970s.
Ali Khamrayev is a film director from the same generation with Andrey Tarkovsky, Sergey Paradzhanov, Otar Ioseliani. They all are prominent artists of the Soviet cinema of the so-called warming period [of the 1960s, known for liberal governmental policies that resulted in a spurt in the arts]. This generation manifested the values of the intellectual auteur cinema. Today, Ali Khamrayev continues to work in the area of grand concepts and universal values.
Ali Khamrayev was born May 19th of 1937. In 1961, he graduated from VGIK, the workshop of Gregory Roshal. In 1969, he was honored for outstanding achievements in the arts by the government of Uzbekistan. Ali Khamrayev’s film The Seventh Bullet was seen by 22.5 million viewers – an unheard of audience for Central Asian movies… read more
This is a lush, intoxicating work. On one level it recalls Parajanov's Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors with its fable like plot, kinetic camera work, and sensual visuals, but it is also a wholly unique work, one that is shamefully underrated and under seen. Man Follows Birds is about the journey of the poet Farouk and his best friend Khabib as they travel across the harsh Uzbek landscape. The two come of age together facing danger and adventure, but also finding (and losing) love. Ali Khamrayev is a director who clearly loves the cinema. I have been collecting as many of his films as I can, and while this one is the only one available with subtitles, they are almost not necessary, because his visuals carry the film. Man Follows Birds is full of joy, magic, and pain. See this movie and love it.