The Light Thief

The Light Thief
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The Light Thief
Kyrgyzstan, 2010, 80 Minute Running Time
Additional Countries: Germany / France / Netherlands
US Premiere
Topics: Asian, Drama, Political
Program: Awards Buzz : Best Foreign Language Film
Language: Kyrgyz English Sub-Titles

The failures of post-Soviet rule come home to roost in a remote Kyrgyz village in director Aktan Arym Kubat’s third feature, which is stylistically much of a piece with his earlier work The Adopted Son and The Chimp (credited to his Russian name Aktan Abdykalykov). Completed before the April 2010 popular uprising against the deeply corrupt regime of Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev who, with his cronies, looted the country and exploited the people, this tragicomic drama unfolding in short vignettes may be read as commentary on the multitude of problems (rampant corruption, nepotism, stagnant economy) Kyrgyzstan faces on its way to democratization.

Good natured electrician “Mr. Light” lives with his wife and four daughters in an impoverished burg in the south of the republic and dreams of harnessing wind power to provide cheaper energy. He’s a softie who tampers with meters for pensioners unable to pay their bills and rescues small boys from big trees. Conflict appears in the form of greedy urban politician Bezkat who wants to sell the villagers’ land to the Chinese. Although the village elders are forewarned, they’re unable to stop him from installing his thuggish relative Mansur as Mayor and sidelining dissenting voices. Winner, Audience Award, Cottbus Film Festival.

DIRECTOR: Aktan Arym Kubat
Producer: Thanassis Karathanos, Karl Baumgartner, Cedomir Kolar, Marc Baschet, Denis Vaslin, Altynai Koichuman
Editor: Petar Markovic
Screenwriter: Aktan Arym Kubat, Talip Ibraimov
Cinematographer: Hassan Kydyraliyev
Music: Andre Matthias
Principal Cast: Aktan Arym Kubat, Taalaikan Abazova, Askat Sulaimanov, Asan Amanov, Stanbek Toichubaev
Filmography: The Chimp (2001), The Adopted Son (1998)
Print Source: Global Film Initiative -

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