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Tuesday, November 30, 2010


After the fall of the Soviet Union, Central Asian cinemas
drew attention of the film world when a new vitality was
observed, particularly, in Kazakhstan, whose capital at the
time, Alma Ata (presently called Almaty) was already the
largest film centre of the USSR after Moscow, Leningrad (St.
Petersburg of today) and Kiev. Central Asian cinema was
already developed in the 1940’s; but under the constraints
of the Communist regime, it did not have much chance to
flourish. From the time cinema was nationalized in 1919 by
a Lenin decree, film production and distribution was
regulated by a government institution, the State Committee
for Cinematography (Goskino), which gradually gained
control, only to be dismantled with the arrival of
opened new horizons for young filmmakers who
were mostly trained in VGIK (the all-Union State Institute
of Cinematography) in Moscow and shared the same
concerns and difficulties despite the diversity of their
backgrounds. They shared a common film language and a
sociological and psychological approach in treatment of
characters as well as in reflecting their destabilized cultural
roots. Subject matters were diverse; but fashionable themes
of the period such as the purging of the Stalinist past, sex
and violence in youth sub-cultures, or obscure avant-garde
narratives were deliberately avoided. Natural décor night

shots in public places, courtyards, abandoned roads-and
non-professional actors, were favoured. Native language
was employed instead of Russian as was the case earlier.

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