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On the steppes of Kazakhstan, Asa lives in a yurt with his sister Samal, her husband Ondas, and their three children. Ondas is a herdsman, tough and strong. It's dry, dusty, and windy; too many lambs are stillborn. Against this backdrop, Asa, a dreamer who's slight of build and recently finished with a stint in the Russian Navy, tries to establish a life on the steppes. He, his friend Boni, and Ondas call on Tulpan, the only single girl in the area. The men talk to her parents while she listens out of sight. Her answer and Asa's later trips to talk to her form an arc of hope against the harsh land. Is this the place of Asa's dreams? What about the other lambs? Written by
Any film that depicts cultures that are mostly unknown here in the west are always a welcome one for me.Kazhak film maker, Sergei Dvortsevoy's 'Tulpan' is another one of those cinematic open windows. This gentle fable concerns a young man named Asa,who has just been released from the Russian Navy,and yearns for a wife,so he can be a right & proper shepherd. The fact that there are a lack of young women presents a problem. Asa,with the help of his friend tries to convince the parents of the last young woman,Tulpan (whom we never see on camera),that he is the man for her. Tulpan's parents are not impressed with Asa's tall tales & tells Asa that his ears are too big. Asa lives with his sister,Samal,her mean,brutish lout of a husband,Ondas & their three children. There are several sequences of Asa & Ondas dealing with the on going problem of lambs being born dead,as well as other problems. Sergei Dvortsevoy,who is generally known for his documentaries,directs & co writes (with Gennady Ostrovskiy)his first fictional film that still manages to convey a documentary feel. The unvarnished photography of Jola Dylewska depicts the harsh & breathtakingly beautiful landscape of the Kazakh steppes. Does Asa ever manage to get to Tulpan to ask for her hand in marriage? It's up to you to find out the answers to this & others. Comparisons to films such as 'Nanook Of The North',as well as 'Atanarjuat:The Fast Runner' will pop up. Spoken in Kazakh & Russian with English subtitles. Not rated by the MPAA,this film contains some profanity & some scenes that could upset young children involving an on screen birth of a lamb,and some dead lambs depicted on screen.
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