Living in Almaty, Kazakhstan, a young man is preparing to become a bus conductor. One day, in between wandering the city streets, and going to the movies, he makes the acquaintance of a female student.
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a young man gets in trouble in post communist Kazakhstan
a young man gets into an accident. he now owes people money. he lives in present day Almaty, Kazakhstan, where jobs are scarce. he turns to dubious characters for help which leads him deeper and deeper into trouble. i really enjoyed this movie for a number of reasons. first up, it gives us a glimpse of present day Kazakhstan which is very real. you get a feel for the city, it's inhabitants and what kind of struggles they are going through. the acting by the lead actors (poor state run art school students ??) is also very refreshing. rather that emoting like crazy, they seem almost resigned to the fate that is being inflicted upon them. it is the sort of desperate calm that truly happens in life, rather than Hollywood manufactured fake emotions. i also enjoyed getting a glimpse of this vintage post communism society. only communism has not gone away, it's ghost still lingers and the people ache for it. the certainty of a job, security, the apparatus they are used to. the director reflects on this is some side monologues, but thankfully does not get heavy on it. the ending of the movie is rather abrupt, but seems completely plausible within the context of what is going on in that country right now. watch this one, you will not regret it.
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