starring Busurman Odurakaev, Tynar Abdrazaeva, Mukanbet Toktobaev, Kabatai Kyzy Elmira
written and directed by Marat Sarulu
starring Mirlan Abdykalykov, Bakyt Toktokozhayev
written by Ernest Abdyjaparov, Talgat Asyrankulov, Aktan Arym Kubat
directed by Aktan Arym Kubat
starring Talgat Assetov, Samat Beysenbin, Baljan Bisembekova, Indira Jeksembaeva
written and directed by Darezhan Omirbayev
by Travis Mackenzie Hoover It's impossible to understand an entire national cinema--or, for that matter, several national cinemas--through the prism of exactly three films. That's all I have by which to judge the Cinematheque Ontario's massive series Films From Along the Silk Road, which brings together films from five Central Asian countries--and so I offer my opinions with trepidation: I wouldn't want to turn you off of something magnificent that might be hiding within the schedule. Nevertheless, the selections offered to the press are/were of a fair-to-middling nature--pictorially accomplished despite extremely low budgets, but lacking a finished quality in themes and narratives. They're fascinating as cultural documents from a part of the world that never makes much of an impact in North America, but as cinema only one rates a proper recommendation.