Tag Archives: Matthew Cooper

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Absurdistan is a modern adaptation of a classical Greek comedy, inspired by a Turkish news story from 2001, featuring a Czech leading lady and an East German leading man, both speaking Russian in an Azeri village with Georgian supporting actors and extras. Given that the story of Absurdistan all takes place in the same small village of fourteen families in…

Last month before leaving for Tulsa, I watched the Aqan Sataev film Jaýjúrek myń bala, the dastanic national epic written for the twentieth anniversary of Kazakhstan’s independence, centered on the life and exploits of the orphaned Sartaı. Sataev’s later piece is a tribute to Kazakhstan’s now ex-President Nursultan Nazarbaev, who – the end of the movie states explicitly – finished…

I first watched this film in 2009 when I was taking Russian language classes at Rhode Island College. It was, in fact, the second Sergei Bodrov film I ever watched, after the beautiful yet hammy Kóshpendiler. I also watched the bootstrap-budget crime-thriller Brat in the same class, though despite the two films featuring the same actor – the late Sergei…

The next film on my docket of Kazakh movies was actually a joint venture between Estonian, Finnish, Belorussian, Russian and Kazakhstani studios: the 2014 drama Ya ne vernus’ (Я не вернусь, I Won’t Come Back) directed by Ilmar Raag. The film itself is somewhat hard to classify: there are elements in it of both Thelma & Louise and Bridge to…

The first Sergei Bodrov film I ever saw was his delightfully-hammy and gloriously-terrible 2005 historical epic Kóshpendiler, a highly-fictionalized account of the early life and career of the military and diplomatic genius Kazakh prince Abylaı Han, which I absolutely will revisit sometime in the near future. Later, as part of the Russian language class I took at Rhode Island College,…