The Old Man

The Old Man  {Shal}
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The Old Man
Kazakhstan, 2012, 102 Minute Running Time
North American Premiere
Topics: Action/Adventure, Drama
Program: Awards Buzz : Best Foreign Language Film
Language: Kazakh English Sub-Titles

The second installment in Ermek Tursunov’s trilogy on Kazakh identity (after Kelin), Shal is inspired by Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea – making it a Central Asian cousin to such elemental Oscar® season survival dramas as "All Is Lost", "Gravity" and "Captain Phillips".

Yerbolat Toguzakov plays Kassym, a 73-year-old shepherd who lives out in the steppes where the director himself grew up. Driving his 11 sheep (each named for a famous soccer player, “Pele” even has the number 10 painted on its back) out to winter pasture, Kassym gets lost in the vast empty, icy expanse. When wolves get scent of the herd things go from bad to worse…

Vivid and intense, "The Old Man" is a tour-de-force for Toguzakov. Says his director: “Every wrinkle is a trace of a long life, but when he turns around and walks he looks like a little boy. Like this tiny little man, Kazakhs are sometimes funny, gullible, and generous - but you try to survive in the wintry steppes for a day or two! I needed an actor who could jump into a river, fight with wolves, and crawl tirelessly for kilometers in the snow. Without him it would simply be a different movie.”

DIRECTOR: Yermek Tursunov
Producer: Alexander Vovnyanko
Screenwriter: Yermek Tursunov
Cinematographer: Murat Aliyev
Music: Kuat Shildebayev
Principal Cast: Yerbolat Toguzakov, Orynbek Moldakhan
Filmography: Sem mayskikh dney (2012)
Kelin (2009)
Print Source: Kazakhfilm

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