The Last Stop

Serik Aprimov, Kazakhstan, 1989; 78m
The Last Stop
A young man comes home to his Kazakh village after finishing up his stint in the Soviet Army. All that he finds are his old friends drinking, senselessly carousing, tumbling into one violent brawl after another. THE LAST STOP, described as the "first perestroika film," was Serik Aprimov's thesis project when he graduated from VGIK Institute in Moscow. The only reason the downbeat story made it past the government approval committee was that they thought the action was set during WWII. However, there's nothing downbeat about Aprimov's artistry, and his dedication to getting the texture, the rhythm, the pulse of dead-end life, which makes THE LAST STOP akin to a rougher and more somber version of Fellini's I Vitelloni or Scorsese's Mean Streets. Beautifully shot by Murad Nougmanov, one of the unheralded geniuses of the Kazakh New Wave of the 90s.