Considering the background history, this has immense importance as Kyrgyzstan’s cinema, and its stripped down 63 running time would have allowed it to keep the barest essentials of its tale while paradoxically expanding upon it. Sadly, regardless of its country of origin, it’s a disinteresting film whose skeletal structure leads to little of interest for me.
Looks like somebody (Melis Ubueyev) studied their Pudovkin. Many gorgeous scenes with some strenuous camera movement, a chase even pops into the runner's POV as he's approaching yet another dangerously steep gorge. Certainly not afraid of contrast. Nice ending too. Not over-loaded with pro-Soviet story line. Though I usually feel many films are too long, in this case I think it could have used more fleshing out.
Basically the film is a fairy simple traditional tragedy. I think "White Mountains," somehow, has a same manner with "Elektra" (Mihalis Kakogiannis) or "My Way Home" (Miklos Jancso) in terms of its artistic achievement. It is a kind of film where even its landscape can haunt your mood.