The film is based on the novel by Fyodor Dostoyevsky “Crime and Punishment.” A student of the Philosophy Faculty suffers from a lack of money and loneliness. One day the owner of the store and one usual shopper became student‘s crime victims. The sense of guilt grew in his mind. Gradually, the student realized that what he had done came to the police and gave up. –Cannes Film Festival
With a degree in Mathematics, Omirbaev first approached cinema theoretically, graduating from VGIK with a thesis on film semiotics and writing criticism for the magazine Novoe Kino. Omirbaev’s theoretical concerns translate seemlessly to the making of films, and like other critics turned directors, finds human expression for his ideas. Like Bresson, he pays close attention to details, to points of subtle contact between people, and particularly in Kardiogramma – to the merging of dream and reality. And like Godard, his films are self-referential (Jol), and literary (Kairat). His first feature film, Kairat, won the Silver Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival. —Seagull Films
TIFF '12 Omirbaev's take on Dostoyevsky's 'Crime and Punishment' set in modern day Kazakhstan though not completely succesful is an interesting and arresting work. Missing is the police procedial side of the story focusing on the young man's inner guilt instead. Performances seem somewhat amateurish but made up for by strongly scripted scenes. Sad and beautiful very apt adjectives to apply.
this film annoyed me with too much 'in your face' symbolism. besides, behind the appearance of being oh-so-critical of the contemporary Kazakh society - with the thugs working in banks and their empty-headed young wives etc - a la Žilnik style, it actually (at least to my eye) was creating the much better image of Kazakhstan than the one one gets from the critical reports on the situation in the country (for instance
A new Omirbaev is a cause for rejoicing: expressionless, horn-rimmed glassed student seems to be wandering in an unfathomable dreamscape, in beautiful, leafy suburban summery Almaty streets, living under an old house in a dingy basement, with poor bedding and a dirty pillow as if his sorrow and guilt of killing two people has been transported to this room of constantly moving shadows. Haunting, sad and beautiful.
The Kazakh master’s 2012 Cannes entry finally sees its U.S. theatrical release.