(3.5 stars) It's like a really sad LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE. How awful people fill our world and control others around them and - in a dysfunctional manner - those others cling to these awful people with a longing desperation that utterly baffles me. The content of this film is sad (in its true reflection of life) and disheartening. BUT the filmmaker does a great job of unfolding the story in a beautifully shot film.
I wish that I got more emotionally invested in it but somehow it all left me a little cold by it - like the landscape itself. Interesting blend of Asian, Arabic and Russian culture and characters feel authentic and unique but I never found the heart in it but as docu-fiction it could work perfectly.
Un buen ejemplo de otro cine, uno con dos visiones de mundo: uno tradicional lleno de ritos, creencias y relaciones sociales basadas en el parentesco y otro, el contemporáneo atravesado por los celulares, el dinero, la visión del sálvese quien pueda. Un muy bello filme lleno de humanidad, con personajes casi antihéroes con los que la empatía es difícil pero se alcanza.
Excellent debut feature from director Elizaveta Stishova telling the tale of a grifter with two complicit wives having to adjust to fatherhood when a child he believed lost comes back into his life. The landscapes captured in the Kyrgyz region are often breathtaking while this humanistic story is quite relatable and universal. Well worth seeking out.
I loved this movie. I knew NOTHING about Kyrgyzstan, not even that it existed, I'm ashamed to say. After watching this movie, I have a picture of the place and people that is full of contrasts: harsh, bleak, hospitable, joyous, unrelenting, passionate, beautiful, tricky, charismatic, lost, aching, resourceful, opportunistic and very, very, very real.
Through confident long takes, framing and staging, Stishova creates a rich story of love and care, distance and intimacy, with a multitude of conflicts and contrasts - of different lifestyles, of young and old wives, of traditional customs and present practices, of responsibility and independence. Moments of tension are quickly displaced by joy which is as quickly overtaken by conflict. A film with much to offer.
A very good performance from Perizat Ermanbetova anchors this drama. She is a shaman, mother of an "adopted" child and the first of two wives of a bad-tempered self-indulgent arsehole. I wouldn't imagine there would be too many films filmed in Kyrgyzstan so that in itself is an attraction.
On living a life without morals and values- but becoming a parent makes people develop a conscience. I like films which introduce me to new cultures. It was weird to see the dichotomy between technology (mobile phones) and tradition (shamanism, villages, polygyny). 3.5
Out of curiosity, I decided to watch this film for the first time without subtitles to see what I could learn from the interactions and body language. And it was great! Excellent framing to convey emotions and contrast. On my second view, very interesting choice that prayers and songs didn't have subtitles; great overall and I'm glad to have been introduced to this director, debut, cast, and culture in the film!
This papa sure is a rolling stone. Karabas is a mercurial, intense anti-hero who fascinates us, though we know personalities like his are dangerous to trust. The plot never lets the audience get ahead of it; we are always off-balance about what will happen next, and the pacing is perfect. Fantastic performances and camerawork. Great tragic story of women & son at the mercy of a protector who is also their tormentor.