Thursday, June 9, 2011

Uzbek Rhapsody: The Films of Ali Khamraev

Scene from Kahmraev's film The Bodyguard

Filmmaker Ali Khamraev’s wife, Gulya Tashbayeva, stars in The Bodyguard

If you are lucky to be in Vancouver now, head down to the Pacific Cinémathèque, which will screen Khamraev's 1979 masterpiece 'The Bodyguard' on 8 and 9 June as part of the first North American retrospective of his films.  Khamraev, one of Central Asia’s leading filmmakers,  was born in Tashkent in 1937. He now lives in Italy, is still working today and has been compared to Kurosawa and Herzog.

'The Bodyguard' is a superb example of the Soviet 'Eastern' or Red Western. It is set against the Basmachi revolt of the 1920s, when Muslim forces in Central Asia took up arms against Soviet domination.

Related post:  Uzbekistan as Film Location