World Cinema Amsterdam | Internationaal filmfestival | 18 – 27 Augustus 2016

Stoedjent

DAREZJAN OMIRBAJEV | KAZACHSTAN | 2012 | 90' | RUSSIAN & KAZACH WITH DUTCH SUBTITLES

Student 5

Kazakh director Darezhan Omirbayev's sixth film is a more or less faithful adaptation of Dostoevsky's world-famous "Crime and Punishment", a story about the psychology of evil as told through student Rodion Raskolnikov's moral decline. Omirbayev has relocated the setting from 19th-century Saint Petersburg to present-day Almaty in Kazakhstan.

Young philosophy student Ali observes that post-Soviet Kazakhstan is a society in decline. Everywhere he looks, he sees ugliness and poverty, and he wonders if an act of violence could offer moral clarity. This idea is fed by his professor, who shamelessly argues social Darwinism ? "survival of the fittest" ? as a guideline for Kazakh society. As an experiment, Ali kills a shopkeeper and accidentally also makes a second victim: a woman who just happened to enter the shop. He then empties the cash register to give the money to the family of a drunken poet. The encounter with the latters' deaf daughter Saniya is eventually life changing for Ali.
Told in a restrained style in terms of camerawork, timing and acting, Omirbayev presents a devastating picture of his home country ? a country lacking a moral spine. Also nominated for the Un Certain Regard Award at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.

Screenings
Rialto:
SUN 17 AUG 15.00 get your tickets (with an introduction by Arthur Langeveld. He taught Russian literature and history at the University of Utrecht and has been working as translator. Langeveld translated 'The Brothers Karamazov' and 'The Idiot' by Dostoevsky)
MON 18 AUG 21.30 get your tickets (with an introduction by Casper Thomas, editor at De Groene Amsterdammer)