On a hot summer afternoon somewhere in the barren expanses of the Kazakh steppes, two boys wander into a theater screening a Bollywood melodrama. They want to go back for the second show but don ’t have enough money for the tickets, so they think up a scheme to earn the cash.
As in all of Omirbaev’s films, however, plot is the least important component. At the center of his films are atmospheres and landscapes (urban and rural), which are always captured concretely and poetically, something that has been alluded to repeatedly in the citations for the numerous awards his films have won at international film festivals.
The “real hero” of the film is the Kazakh steppe itself, with its intense heat and lulling laziness, buzzing of flies and bugs, run-down decrepitude and natural beauty.
Born in the village of Uiuk in 1958, Omirbaev graduated from the Department of Applied Mathematics at Kazakh State University in 1980. In 1984 he was accepted into Sergei Solov'ev’s master class at the State Filmmaking Institute (VGIK), but left shortly afterwards. In 1987 he graduated from the film history and theory section of VGIK, where he focused on structuralist film analysis. From 1987-1989 he was editor of the journal New Film.
1988: Summer Heat (short)
1993: Profession: Controller (doc)
2001: The Road
This series is co-sponsored by the Center for Russian and East European Studies and the Film Studies Program. It was made possible by the support of the Office of the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, and it would not have been possible without the generosity of Forrest Ciesol.