Autumn 2009 Features series
Sunday, November 1, 2009 at 4:00pm
Sunday, November 1, 2009 at 7:00pm
Directed by Sergei Dvortsevoy
Screenplay by Sergei Dvortsevoy and Gennadi Ostrovsky
Starring Askhat Kuchinchirekov, Samal Yeslyamova, Ondasyn Besikbasov, Tulepbergen Baisakalov
Rated PG ·
Germany, Kazakhstan, Poland, Russia, Switzerland
Kazakh and Russian
Tulpan, the charming first feature from writer-director Sergey Dvortsevoy, won the Un Certain Regard Prize at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. With its deceptively straightforward narrative, Tulpan presents a fresh perspective on a simple love story, complemented by a striking landscape and an endless menagerie of exotic animals. The result is an amusing and heartwarming tale of hope, conflict and the dreams that make life bearable.
Recently discharged from the Russian naval service, young Asa (Askhat Kuchinchirekov) has travelled back to southern Kazakhstan’s distant Hunger Steppe to reunite with his nomadic older sister and her husband. Wishing to become a shepherd like his brother-in-law, Asa is surprised to learn that he must be married before he can attain a herd of his own. Desperate to achieve his goal by any means necessary, the young man begins to fantasize about finding a wife.
Unfortunately, the only unmarried girl in the area is Tulpan (the mysterious and elusive title character), the daughter of another shepherd family. Determined to leave the steppe and go to college, she tells her parents to reject Asa’s proposal. This setback does not deter him, however, and he clings to the hope of an existence that may not be achievable on the steppe. With the help of his friend Boni (Tulepbergen Baisakalov), Asa endeavours to prove to his brother-in-law that he is indeed a skilled shepherd and to convince Tulpan’s parents that he is a worthy suitor.
Featuring exquisite cinematography, authentic performances and witty and engaging drama, Tulpan is a charming and accessible film for all audiences. Rooted in social observation, it balances a tender intimacy with a delightful sense of play.