Newsletter for the films Kosh ba Kosh (1993) and Three Brothers (2000)
In order to make our newsletter more extensive and dynamic, we decided to dedicate it to two films: by Bakhtiyor Khudoynazarov (Tajikistan) and by Serik Aprymov (Kazakhstan). The films have a lot in common: they were shot in the difficult post-Soviet period of neighboring countries, but they are completely different in theme, mood and artistic treatment. The materials collected in this issue consist of our impressions and analysis of the viewed films, and they will help you look at the films from, in our opinion, interesting perspectives.
The film Kosh ba Kosh is set against the background of the civil war in Tajikistan (1992-1997). Political conflicts appeared in the country unexpectedly and were fought in a significant part of it. While the war was underway, the usual ways of life of the country's people changed, and modern independent Tajikistan began to take shape.
During the inevitable pause in the shooting process of Kosh ba Kosh, the film team was looking for the possibility to change the location: among the options considered were remote regions of Tajikistan and other neighboring republics. The idea failed; what had attracted the filmmakers, and defined their vision to some extent, was the very location of Dushanbe. The film's key character was impossible to find anywhere else except Dushanbe - a funicular driven by the main character Daler and which becomes an integral symbol of the story.
In 2013, two members of the Sensory Ethnography Lab at Harvard University Stephanie Spray and Paco Velez made an experimental documentary called "Manakamana". The camera is placed inside a funicular that transports complete strangers up and down in the middle of the Himalayan mountains to the ancient Hindu shrine of Manakamana. The measured rhythm of the narration allows you to look closely at the faces and facial expressions of people, try to understand their history during the joint trip in the small cabin of the funicular.
Gambling, a kind of addiction, is often associated with strong emotions - obsession, almost agony, which absorbs the mind of a person, and obscures the clarity of consciousness. Gambling has often been a theme for creating works of art. One of the examples from literature is the
Cockfighting in the Afghan language— Murgh Jangi—is a popular entertainment during the winter season. The tradition of cockfighting in Afghanistan is very ancient, and its history goes back to 4000 BC. Cockfighting has become a national tradition in Afghanistan.
Georgian cinema was an important source of inspiration in the work of Bakhtiyor Khudoinazarov. He largely adopted the lightness, naturalness and irony from it, which later became inherent in most of his paintings. The short film T directed by Irakli Kvirikadze in 1970, represents the most positive and cheerful attitude of the Georgian films of that era.
Kosh ba Kosh is a cinematic document that reflects the reality of the 90's in Tajikistan: even though the war takes place somewhere in the background, the film is still all about it. Today, after 20 years, the social problem has shifted for Tajikistan. This is clearly narrated by a young Tajik pop artist who grew up in Russia. MANIZHA is one of thousands of expelled citizens who were forced from their homeland to new territories.
MANIZHA is interesting because through her creativity she actively and vividly expresses her social position.
The aspect of growing up excites Serik Aprymov, the author of the film Three Brothers, and he often sees children as the main characters of his films. The film (1988) by Kazakh filmmaker Talgat Temenov talks about the friendship between a boy and a wolf-cub. The storyline of the film refers the viewer to the archaic connection of nomadic peoples with the animal soul and nature.
The film Three Brothers is about the countryside, a way of life that, in light of the current situation with COVID-19, will be one of the topical issues of the future.
The exhibition Countryside, The Future by architect and urbanist REM Koolhaas and Samir Bantal, director of OMA, the analytical center of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), will present reflections on the future through understanding the countryside today.
French new wave
The French new wave profoundly influenced cinematography in general, shifting the understanding of the art of cinema, and thus contributed to the development of independent cinema. Locally, the reinterpretation of cinema was also brought about by the Kazakh new wave, which was formed immediately after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Filmmakers such as Serik Aprymov and Darezhan Omirbayev became some of the brightest figures of this regional film movement.
In the works of Serik Aprymov, he has an aspiration for the documentary, and he emphasizes the new wave among other film genres. The film (1959) by Francois Truffaut is considered a film that became iconic for the French new wave.
Historical photos captured in the period from the mid-XIX and early XX centuries show us the lives and ways of living of the Kazakhs during the expansion of the Russian Empire in the Central Asian steppe. Most of the first images of present-day Kazakhstan were taken by Russian historians and ethnographers during scientific expeditions. Many unique historical images are stored in Saint Petersburg in the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) of Russia.
Mantiq al-Tayr Farid Al-din Attar
The main characters in the film Three Brothers comprise a group of children who believe in a myth that was created by an old man. The myth of the lake, where you can experience all pleasures, are just like the literary birds flying to the lake in the book Mantiq al-Tayr by Farid Al-din Attar. A copy of this work with, where the illustrations was created by the artist of the Timurid era Kamoliddin Behzad.