Friday, June 14, 2024

Laskovoe bezrazlilchie mira / The Gentle Indifference of the World

Adilkhan Yerzhanov: Laskovoe bezrazlilchie mira / The Gentle Indifference of the World (KZ 2018).

DIRECTOR: Adilkhan Jerzhanov
COUNTRY: Kazakhstan, France
YEAR: 2018
DURATION: 100 min
LANGUAGES: Kazakh, Russian
CATEGORY: Adilkhan Yerzhanov, Special Guests' Films, Subtitles in English
Viewed at The School, Sodankylä, Midnight Sun Film Festival (MSFF), 14 June 2024

Timo Malmi (MSFF 2024): " Getting its title from Albert Camus’ The Stranger, The Gentle Indifference of the World is a minimalist but colourful and offbeat melodrama. We witness two characters experiencing ”the gentle indifference of the world,” a young beauty named Saltanat and her devoted admirer, a long-time friend called Kuandyk. When Saltanat’s father dies, the daughter must try to pay the family’s notable debt in order to avoid a prison sentence. Her journey takes her and Kuandyk from a little village in the mountains to the capital city of Almaty and its corrupt circles. Here Saltanat is about to be abused by her uncle and his rich guardian, while Kuandyk is threatened by a mobster of the vegetable business. "

" Made in collaboration with French partners, the film’s Gaul references do not stop at Camus. There are, for example, allusions to French new wave and film noir thrillers – as well as Henri Rousseau’s paintings. His naïve art contains similar qualities to Yerzhanov’s poetic piece with its share of absurd moments. Unforgettable images include Saltanat’s red dress and red bloodstains on a white flower; only love lasts forever. "

" As Cyril Béghin sums up in Cahiers du cinéma, “The film takes shape in the brightness of the day, (…) resolving the equation between primitivism and impressionism with a romanticism as dark as it is suffused with light—a poetic escape that says more than all the political analyses.” " Timo Malmi

AA: An imagist poem, a dark fairy-tale, a saga bordering on horror. Against the breathtaking beauty of the wide-open steppe, a narrative of a brutal trap. The young lovers face a structure of overwhelming corruption and violence. The mob has taken over the society, and the people have no protection, no organization, no safety. Love and beauty are soiled, compromised and destroyed. "The spirit of higher", declared Yerzhanov after the screening.

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