Uzbek Rhapsody: The Films of Ali Khamraev
First North American retrospective of Ali Khamraev
"If there is a giant who sits astride the history of Uzbek cinema, it's Ali Khamraev. An artist of rock-solid humanism and amazing expressive power. Ali Khamraev, one of those rare talents like Welles or Godard or Scorsese whose love for the medium is so intense that his best films burst with criss-crossing energies and insights, like a fireworks display. Khamraev is a towering figure, a wizard with landscapes (they all seem charged, often enchanted) and an instinctual genius with actors. Anyone interested in the Brechtian idea of the social gestus should study Khamraev's ferocious 1972 masterpiece Without Fear, which deals with the Soviet modernization of a Muslim village in 1927 and the shock waves caused by the sight of unveiled women. Khamraev's bravura talent isolates just the right gestures, merging the physical, the visual, and the dramatic with perfect precision. Nearly abstract visual forms of Khamraev's Man Follows Birds, his 1975 medieval pocket epic, merits comparison with Paradjanov and Dovzhenko."
Kent Jones, Director, World Cinema Foundation
Presented by Seagull Films with assistance of Mardjani Foundation. Curated by Alla Verlotsky.