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Centaur (2017)

Aktan Abdykalykow - Arym Kubat, Kyrgyzstan

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There’s a horse thief at large on the outskirts of Bishkek high up in the mountainous region of Kyrgyzstan’s capital. Otherwise not a lot happens in this small community that does at least boast a cinema. This is where stories of the war in Afghanistan, Bollywood fairy-tales from India or films by ex-Soviet director Tolomush Okeyev open up a window on the world. This is also where projectionist and horse thief Centaur lives with his deaf wife and young son. Theirs is a simple life and yet one that increasingly seems to fall foul of the jealously and intrigues of others. Centaur believes that the people of Kyrgyzstan themselves descend from centaurs, mythological half-human half-horse creatures, and that horses are, as he says, the wings of humankind’. Unfolding in contemplative images, Kyrgyz director Aktan Arym Kubat’s film is an allegorical tale of humans, animals and nature trying to live together whilst caught between faith and superstition, modernity and tradition. As in his award-winning film The Light Thief Aktan Arym Kubat himself once again plays the leading role.

Duration
89 minutes
Language
OV Kirghiz
Subtitles
German, French, English
Video Quality
720p
Available in
Switzerland, Liechtenstein
Aktan Abdykalykow - Arym Kubat
The Light Thief (2010)
Aktan Abdykalykow - Arym Kubat
Kyrgyzstan
79′
They call him "Svet-ake" ("Mr. Light"). The electrician is responsible for bringing more than just light to the people around him. Like moths, everybody is drawn to his kindness: those with short circuits in their electricity, and those with short circuits in their marriage, those who have taken all the power in the city, and those who have given up the will to live. He helps everyone and is everywhere. He doesn't even shy from breaking the law, rewinding an old and lonely pensioner's electricity meter so that he doesn't owe the State, but rather the State owes him. The economic devastation of the country has had an enormous impact on the working people and yet despite the upheaval they have not lost the ability to love, to suffer, to share their lives with friends, and enjoy what they have... in particular our resilient electrician who possesses a wonderful and open heart. He not only brings electric light (which is often out) to the lives of the inhabitants of this village, but he also spreads the light of love, loyalty, life, and most of all, lots of laughter. He only has two dreams: to someday have a son and to provide people with cheaper energy through wind power. Allen nennen ihn nur Svet-Ake (Herr Licht). Er ist der Elektriker des Orts, aber für viel mehr als nur für den Strom zuständig. Die Leute rufen den hilfsbereiten Mann zur Lösung der unterschiedlichsten Probleme, angefangen beim elektrischen Kurzschluss bis hin zum Beziehungskurzschluss. Egal, ob es die sind, die die ganze Energie einer Stadt kontrollieren wollen, oder jene, denen die Energie zum Leben fehlt: Svet-Ake ist immer zur Stelle mit praktischer Hilfe und Rat, auch wenn er manchmal das Gesetz zurechtbiegen muss. Da wird aus schierem Mitleid auch mal ein Stromzähler rückwärts eingestellt, so dass der bedürftige Benutzer statt der hohen Stromrechnung eine Gutschrift vom Elektrizitätswerk ausbezahlt bekommt. Doch Gutherzigkeit wird in einem Land, das mitten im politischen Umbruch steckt, nicht automatisch belohnt. Aktan Arym Kubat beschreibt in «Svet-Ake» auf vergnüglich lockere Art den Alltag im unabhängig gewordenen Kirgisistan und zeigt, indem er die Hauptrolle gleich selber spielt, dass die Menschen auch lernen müssen, mit der Freiheit umzugehen. The country is the midst of a revolution. Power lies in the hands of greed-driven people, obsessed with their personal enrichment. "Svet-ake" is a resistance against this dark madness. He who brings the light, takes it away, leaving the darkness in the dark. Only the light of the dream remains glowing in the night; a candle of a very delicate hope.
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