Thursday, November 23, 2017

Kazakhstan films: Test (2014) and Sveta (2017)

Films with no speech…
Kirsten: I saw a Kazakhstan film three years ago in which there was no speaking. Test. Испытание. Then last month Sveta became the second Kazakhstan film I have seen with no speaking.
Dorothy: No speaking means it was a statement of some kind?
Elena An in Test
Kirsten: Different films, different intentions. Test was about a wordless relationship between a dying father and his teenage daughter living in a very remote steppe area. The power of the film was in the cinematography. Only three pages of script, the film took shape and grew a story during editing. But a powerful film. Star, Elena An, a non-professional actress.
Dorothy: I can imagine the work that went into post-production on that!
Laura Koroleva in Sveta
Kirsten: And Sveta had a cast who were all deaf. A drama revolving around a unique deaf woman. The characters all used Russian sign language to communicate. A tightly scripted story but the director said the hard work was in training the cast to act since they were deaf. A lot of rehearsals and retakes. Star, Laura Koroleva, again a non-professional actress. Just goes to show.
Dorothy: Subtitled?
Kirsten: Of course. Japanese down the right, English along the bottom.
Alexander Kott, director of Test.
Zhanna Issabayeva, director of Sveta.

Kazakhstan has an active film industry and international film festivals: the International Astana Action Film Festival and the Eurasia International Film Festival held annually.

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