Opening 14 Apr 2016
This film can best be described as a cinematic essay. Set in a remote Kyrgyz mountain region, it centers on what’s left of a nomadic horse-herding family: Tabyldy (Tabyldy Aktanov) and his wife Karachach (Anar Nazarkulova), their widowed daughter-in-law Shaiyr (Taalaikan Abazova), and her seven-year-old daughter. By day they tend to their horses, at night they share one ‘yurt’. From time to time Tabyldy goes to sell their mare’s milk. There are few visitors. Shaiyr’s son Ulan (Myrza Subanbekov) studies architecture in the city and can rarely make time. Meteorologist Ermek (Jenish Kangeldiev) came to work on a project for a limited engagement.
Heavenly Nomadic is minimalistic in every way: the austere landscape, few sets, few people, few words. But with their intense and telling facial expressions the actors leave a lasting impression! Rather than individual personalities, the family members represent three generations in reference to the future of their ancestor’s way of life. For the old generation there is no doubt that this is where they belong. Shaiyr is heartbroken over having to decide whether to stay out of responsibility and reverence for the elderly or to leave for personal happiness. Shaiyr’s son will stay in the city, and as for little Umsunai the audience can ‘put two and two together’. There aren’t enough people to form a community and no outcome; no neighbors, no schools, limited supplies. Meanwhile heavy land moving equipment is being brought in, foreboding major change that is out of their control. (Carola A)