The Light Thief (15)

Starring: Aktan Arym Kubat, Taalaikan Abazova
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The Independent Culture

Aktan Arym Kubat's political parable had the honour of being Kyrgyzstan's official submission to the 2010 Academy Awards.

It's the first I'd heard that Kyrgyzstan had a film industry at all – my mistake. The writer-director also takes the title role of a rural electrician, "Mr Light", who siphons off the power supply to help out his impoverished neighbours. When he strikes a dodgy deal with a developer running for local government, the popular light-fixer finds himself dragged into an ever darkening vortex of corruption. That precis doesn't really convey the unusual and unWesternised mood of the film, which will make demands of an audience not au fait with goats, yurts and the Kyrgyz taste in traditional headgear. But it's worth the effort.

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