[Reader-list] FYI: Transit Central Asia - debates & films

Eric Kluitenberg epk at xs4all.nl
Tue Nov 25 19:52:03 IST 2003

A  N  N  O  U  N  C  E  M  E  N  T


December 12 - 17, 2003

De Balie - Centre for Culture and Politics
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

De Balie focuses its attention to Central Asia, 
to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan 
and Turkmenistan. Five countries that not long 
ago were simply called the Muslim-republics of 
the Soviet Union, but since their independence 
have become an uncertain geopolitical factor.
Which direction will Central Asia go? Back 
towards eastern despotism, a traditional 
clan-structure or an authoritarian protectorate? 
Could an Islamist revolution happen or is such a 
major turnabout already in the making? Or is 
there a possibility that the Muslim republics 
will evolve in more open and democratic forms of 

Transit Central Asia, a program with experts and 
guests from the region, feature films, music, 
debates, lectures and interviews.
On December 12 in the afternoon a Round Table 
about the curtailment of press freedom and civil 
rights, in the evening a discussion (in English) 
about the western policy towards Central Asia, 
with Yevgeny Zhovtis (lawyer from Kazakhstan), 
Ron Strikker (Dutch ministry of Foreign Affairs), 
Robert Templer (International Crisis Group) and 
Neil Carmichael (Shell International), eastern 
teahouse and live music by Mäshräp Ensemble.
Saturday afternoon December 13 presentations by 
Dutch people who have come to know Central Asia 
from within (in Dutch), Saturday night, 
interviews (in Dutch and Russian) with 
journalists from the region (Karim Kahriev from 
Uzbekistan, Kuban Mambetaliev from Kyrgyzstan, 
Yevgeny Zhovtis from Kazakhstan and Oleg Panfilov 
from Tajikistan).

Transit Central Asia will show twelve recent 
feature films from Central Asian directors. The 
films (English subtitles) are mostly simple 
stories and give much attention to detail. Themes 
are quite intimate - they focus on traditions, 
atmosphere and culture - or have an absurdist 

Visit our website for more information and timeschedule:

(or call 020 553 51 51, and ask for Hella Rottenberg or Marga Verheije)


Overview Film Program Transit Central Asia

Angel on the Right
(Farishtay kifti rost) Jamshed Usmonov, Tajikistan, 2002,
91 min., 35 mm, Dutch Subtitles

Jamshed Usmonov sketches the harsh and immoral life in Asht, the
village where the director himself was born. The story is about a criminal
who returns home, is cheated by the villagers and haunted by
the past. Pseudo-documentary film, in which the director's mother
and brother play the feature roles.


Nariman Turebayev, Kazakhstan, 2001, 16 min., 35mm

A young man takes a gorgeous prostitute to his room. But instead of
love, what happens is anti-romantika. He feels even lonelier than
before. A black and comic short story.

Bus Stop
(Beket) Aktan Abdykalykov, Ernest Abdyjaparov, Kyrgyzstan,
2000, 22 min., 35mm, B/W

Set in the declining years of the USSR, comrade Boykenzhaev is
assigned to manage the building of an international cemetery where
people from different religions and nationalities will be buried. All
goes well until the bureaucratic opening ceremony when there are
no suitable corpses to be found.

The Dance of Men
(Dilhiroj) Yusup Razikov, Uzbekistan, 2002, 77 min.,
35mm, English Subtitles

Following the important moments in the life of the boy Sanam, we
learn about the conflicts between traditions and human nature in a
small Uzbek village. Thanks to the wisdom of the women in the community
crises are overcome. The story spans childhood, youth,
courtship, and separation of Sanam and his beloved and the triumph
of their courtship.

Don't Cry
(Jylama) Amir Karakulov, Kazakhstan, 2003, 80 min.,
35mm, English Subtitles

The story of a Chinese-trained opera singer living in a remote Kazakh
village with a grandmother and her ailing young granddaughter. Most
of the action consists of the steadfast heroine trying to make
enough money to get the rare and costly medicine that may save the
child's life. With his cast of amateurs the director illuminates the
details of everyday life: reality and fiction dissolve into each other.

Identifikation der Wünsche
(Identifikatsiya Zhelanii) Tolib Khamidov, Tajikistan, 1991,
58 min., 35 mm, German Subtitles

Three teen-aged boys and their unfocused sexual desires is the subject
of the story. They have been carrying on with a donkey, while
dreaming of making it with a woman. The first woman they want to
try, is the mother of their friend, who works as a part-time prostitute
in order to sustain her son.

The Needle
(Igla) Murat Nugmanov, Kazakhstan, 1988, 82 min., 35mm,
English Subtitles

A student tries to save his former girlfriend from her drug addiction
and from an unscrupulous drug dealer, nicknamed The Doctor. Shot
in the surreal landscape round the Aral sea, this film was a big hit in
the disintegrating Soviet Union. Rock star Viktor Tsoy plays the
leading part, his band Kino made the soundtrack.

La Route
(Jol) Darezhan Omirbayev, Kazakhstan, 2001, 85 min.,
Dutch Subtitles

A road movie which takes us through the Kazakh steppe.
Film director Amir travels to his remote provincial village dreams,
remembers and contemplates about the difficulties involved in
making a film.

The Swing
(Selkinchek) Aktan Abdykalykov, Kyrgyzstan, 1993,
48 min., 35 mm, B/W

The almost wordless story is about a young boy in a Kirghiz village,
whose days are spent in the company of an elderly, retarded man.
Together, they push a beautiful girl on a swing. There is joy, there is
disappointment, there is death, and there is love, all rendered with
a timeless, almost otherworldly grace.


De Balie
Kleine-Gartmanplantsoen 10
1017 RR Amsterdam
The Netherlands


T   +31 20 55 35 151
F   +31 20 55 35 155
E   balie at balie.nl

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