the destiny of a writer, an endangered species in the face of the march of the world

Didar (Yerdos Kanayev) in


Here, a Kazakh film! Whose main character, as if that were not enough, is a poet. And the very day that comes out Avatar. The way of the water, by James Cameron, who, under the guise of saving the world, is about to overwhelm it. This could make the director, Darezhan Omirbayev, leader of a Kazakh New Wave that emerged in the 1990s smile, and which we are still waiting, board at the foot, for it to break. Omirbayev himself will only have made five feature films in thirty years. Mathematician by training, well-read, disciple of Robert Bresson, this admirable man distills in his work a fundamental animosity towards the neoliberal drift of post-Soviet societies, more silently abrasive for national integrity than the Stalinist schlague. A confrontation whose delicacy, elegance, discreet humor and melancholic lucidity enchant.

Most disturbing is that poet and Avatar a priori tell the same story: that of the need for resistance to human greed and hubris. Their difference is that poet tends to be everythingAvatar, by its very nature, could not be: an ecological relationship to reality putting its means in relation to its purpose, a memory of the world, a humanism in action, a film which teaches us the virtues of the spirit. The action takes place on two parallel planes. Here and now, the destiny of Didar, mastic trench coat and threadbare moccasins, penniless poet, father, journalist out of necessity. And, two centuries ago, that of Makhambet Utemisov (1804-1846), a great figure in Kazakh literature and companion of the nationalist hero Isatay Taymanov (1791-1838), who, in 1836, revolted both against Russian imperialist power and that of his native ociates.

The actors of the characters of our time are the same as those who embody their 19th century ancestors.e century

The first drags out his spleen, sees a disciple again who has converted to business, exchanges with colleagues gloomy views on the disappearance of poetry, receives without joy the job offer of a tycoon who proposes to him to put in forms his autobiography, travels to the provinces to meet a sparse public there, wanders into the temples of consumerism where he can hardly afford anything. The second fights imperialism, writes incendiary poems, hides in a yurt in the middle of the steppe with his family, is brutally brought out by the Khan’s soldiers, has his head cut off in a public place, before his mausoleum, lost to the middle of nowhere also seems almost forgotten by everyone. Forgive us for this unveiling: it’s because here the plot is poor, and the device infinitely richer. Because the actors of the characters of our time are the same as those who embody their 19th century ancestors.e century, starting with Yerdos Kanayev, who embodies both Didar and Makhambet.

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