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Saratan (2005)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 76 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 3 critic

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(as Ernest Abdyshaparov)

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(as Ernest Abdyshaparov)
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Title: Saratan (2005)

Saratan (2005) on IMDb 7.3/10

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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Kumondor Abylov
Askat Sulaimanov
Tabyldy Aktanov
Kanybek Bekbatyrov
Taalai Abazova ...
(as Taalaikan Abrazova)
Shambyl Kamchiev
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Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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Release Date:

15 February 2005 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Parempia aikoja odotellessa  »

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User Reviews

 
The Rio/SP FilmFests' Unofficial Critic's Note:A Slice of life in Post-Soviet Kyrghistan
14 October 2005 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

This is my second comment as "The Rio/SP FilmFest Unofficial critic", or should I say, information provider. Having participated and seen over 200 films at the 2004 and 2005 Rio & S.Paulo(Brazil) FilmFests, I've decided to add a general comment about every film of note with NO IMDb comment, for the benefit of the clueless viewer like myself prior to seeing this film.

Strange that this film, unusual just by its origin - Kyrghistan, has not been commented on. Here in Rio alone, it was shown at four different sessions; and this was by no means its premier. The film is similar to the simple Iranian films often shown in the West; intended for the export audience audience rather than for the home audience, which may not understand why anyone outside (or inside) the country would want to see a film of such common place banality.

The reason for such little enthusiasm by IMDb's comment writers, is probably that we have seen so many of these simple films before. The difficult situations are the same in Iran, in the Former Soviet Union, and other countries, even if not caused by the same rupture. But humankind is pretty similar at the small village level. And the problems faced by small, disenfranchised villages everywhere in "exotic" places are not that exotic.

But there will always be a market, I guess, for these movies. In my head, personally, these "day in the life of a village" movies are beginning to blur. And I HAVE A GOOD MEMORY, AND HAVE TRAVELED WIDELY.

I WENT TO SEE THIS MOVIE, AS I HAD A PASS FOR IT AND IT PRECEDED A FILM I REALLY WANTED TO SEE; I'D GUARANTEE A GOOD SEAT FOR IT BY SITTING THROUGH THIS ONE, and thought maybe there was something special about Kyrghistan. I knew it was a Turkic country like Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan (countries which I had seen similar films from recently), but my only other connection to the place were the Kyrghiz Air Jets I've often seen at Istanbul Airport.

The film didn't give me any new insight on the country. It in fact reminded me a lot about a film from Outer Mongolia recently seen (but without the cold igloo life of this other country). The characters are "cutesy", I guess. So for the film's simplicity, good acting from the town's "simple folks", and the fact that something from such an obscure (for us) country was shown here, I give it an 8. The "naughty" scenes, usually not shown in otherwise-similar Islamic films, made it more watchable than many of the artsy and over-puritanical Iranian films, some foreigners simply rave about. about.

The plot revolves around the general dissatisfaction in a very small Kyrghiz village. Everyone lives by doing whatever they can to get by, and so even the one single policeman has a hard time keeping the peace, though he often has a "hard time" with some of the promiscuous married women of the town when he gets a chance.

The inhabitants of course still live with the hardships caused by "Moscow sending no money anymore," possibly the population's biggest gripe. And, bored with nothing to do and no work, some still argue with fervor about Communist ideology, while others mock it in a few entertaining ways.

But in all, we've seen it before, many times. Not just from this particular village in Central Asia. Maybe that novelty is what led to the film's participation in the "Panorama" Section of the 2005 Berlin Festival, the pedigree which probably landed the film here, and maybe over your way soon.


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