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The Light Thief [DVD]
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In this colourful modern-day parable of good and evil, a humble village electrician devotes his compassion and ingenuity to destitute neighbours in a wind-swept valley of Kyrgyzstan.
Played with wry humanity by acclaimed writer-director Aktan Arym Kubat, the trusting “Mr. Light” strikes a suspect bargain with a rich developer running for local office, as unemployment threatens the survival of the community. Stoking a dream to supply wind-generated electricity to the whole valley, Mr. Light comes up against an increasingly dark cloud of corruption.
Original language: Kyrgyz
Subtitles for the hard of hearing: None
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There are a few problems with 'The Light Thief', however. The portrayal of the film's rich and privileged characters as uniformly corrupt, vicious and sleazy, is a disappointing over-simplification of the way the world works, and whilst "Mr. Light" is a commendably complex figure, (a man who is unstinting in his help of all members of his community, yet furious, in his patriarchal mindset, that he cannot seem to produce a son) the powerful of society, are overtly one-dimensional. This, and the sometimes overly slow pace of the film, mean that 'The Light Thief' is not as good as it could, and probably should be. Still, the film's main leads all put in excellent performances, the plotline is (whilst admitted rather clumsily handled) interesting enough to carry the film, and wonderful cinematography, an excellent score, and some poignant, memorable moments which will live with the viewer long after the film has ended, mean that 'The Light Thief' is still well worth viewing, for fans of world cinema.
Mixed up we have corrupt politics, exploitation and friends who are only out to abuse trust. This is written, directed and starring Aktan Arym Kubat who is very effective and brings the mild mannered electrician to fully realised life.
Now this is slow in places and is not a ‘feel good’ movie but it does have its moments and is one of those films where it about the journey and not the destination; and at 76 minutes it does not really out stay its welcome but will not be to everyone’s taste and is one where you will not get any more on repeated viewings so one for the rental option I would suggest.
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