Anyone in the New York City area should be aware of the program coming up May 2-29 at the Walter Reade Cinema in Lincoln Center, Films from Along the Silk Road: Central Asian Cinema.
Addendum. Anthology Film Archives is in the middle of Voices Of Dissent In Arab Cinema: A Selection Of Films By North African Directors; oddly, there is nothing about it on AFA’s own site, but here‘s a review from the Village Voice.
More on the Central Asian program:
Between the Middle East and the western Chinese border lies a vast stretch of the continent that has barely registered on the western cultural radar. This is the world where Genghis Khan ruled, and through which the great trade route called the Silk Road ran. The five former Soviet Asian republics are known to some as “the stans” – Turkmenistan, Tadjikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, linked by geographical proximity yet each possessed of its own unique culture. And its own distinctive national cinema.
Chances are you’ve never heard of most of the films in this series, the first comprehensive retrospective of movies from this cinematically rich corner of the world. You may wonder why. The reason is nothing more or less than an accident of history. When the Soviet Union collapsed, so did the apparatus for the promotion and distribution of films from Central Asia. Every time the films have surfaced, it’s been the result of a titanic effort on the part of a few valiant scholars, programmers, and festival organizers. But the films are worth the effort. These countries are as culturally rich as they are cash poor, and the films, from throughout the region, are hand-crafted wonders, rich in artistic and poetic miracles.
As a special feature of this series, we are paying tribute to the late Kyrgyz director Tolomush Okeev, one of the greatest “open-air” filmmakers who ever worked in the medium. We will also be showing WITHOUT FEAR and MAN FOLLOWS BIRDS, two extraordinary films by the Uzbek master Ali Khamraev, not to be missed. We are also featuring a special presentation of TAKHIR AND ZUKHRA, an enchanting 1944 Uzbek film that will leave you breathless. And you will be seeing films by directors like Darezhan Omirbaev, Serik Aprymov, Amir Karakulov and Ermek Shinarbaev from Kazakhstan, Aktan Abdikalikov and Marat Sarulu from Kyrgyzstan, Jamshed Usmonov from Tadjikistan and Khodjakuli Narliev from Turkmenistan, and many others whose names you may not know but whose films you will never be able to forget.
We expect many of the directors to be present for Q & A. Please check back on this page for updated information about guest appearances.
Unfortunately, they don’t identify which language the films are in, and many of them may be in Russian, but at least some of them are (judging by the titles) in local languages. A notable event:
SYMPOSIUM 1: MAPPING THE HISTORY OF CINEMA IN CENTRAL ASIA
This symposium will explore the unique history of filmmaking in the five former Soviet republics of Central Asia, from the silent era through the present. Guests include: Neya Zorkaya, film historian, Russia; Tynay Ibragimov, director of Kyrgyz Film Studio; Ali Khamraev, director, Uzbekistan; Hadjikuli Narliev, director, Turkmenistan; Ardak Amirkulov, director, Kazakhstan.
Sat May 3: 10 am