ShoutOUT! Whose House is This?: New Cinema of Central Asia

Whose House is This?: New Cinema of Central Asia is the first online programme from the Asian Film Archive (AFA) that will be presented entirely online, as part of its new initiative, Rewired

Rewired brings AFA's film programming online and accessible to audiences as cinemas remain closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. With the latest social distancing rules allowing for small gatherings from 19 June 2020, this programme is a chance for Singaporeans to rent and watch a Central Asian film with friends or form online watch parties.

The title of this programme is inspired by Kazakh filmmaker Adilkhan Yerzhanov’s The Owners (Kazakhstan, 2014, PG)
The title of this programme is inspired by Kazakh filmmaker Adilkhan Yerzhanov’s The Owners (Kazakhstan, 2014, PG), in which a group of urbanite youths return to their ancestral home, only to be challenged by village elders. "Whose house is this?" the elders ask as they attempt to dispossess the youths of their rightful place. Here, the house is a site of contestation between old and new, tradition and modernity.

Showcasing some of the boldest cinema from the past decade from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan, the programme explores the struggles for space and ownership that take place in various societies, over issues of culture, gender, nationhood, and identity.

From 19 June to 16 July 2020, the films from Whose House is This? will be available for rent on demand for up to 48 hours. The programme features five narrative features, one short film, and three documentaries. The films have been carefully curated to spotlight a diverse range of films from Central Asia, a region that often goes under the radar on the world cinema stage. With a legacy of filmmaking dating back to the 1920s, from propaganda cinema, to the more gritty social realist films of 80s and 90s, Central Asian cinema has been garnering critical acclaim at international film festivals since the 2000s.

A notable aspect of this programme is that seven out of the nine films in the lineup are directed by women, including the three documentaries.

Some highlights include:

Face The Music (Kazakhstan, 2018, Katerina Suvorova, PG)
A documentary focusing on the Kazakhstani boyband, Ninetyone. They take inspiration from K-pop while incorporating ethnic identity to showcase Kazakh culture on a global stage. However, their popularity with the Kazakh youth is seen as a threat to traditional masculinity and conservative values of the older generation.

Face The Music (Kazakhstan, 2018, Katerina Suvorova, PG)
40 Days of Silence (Uzbekistan, 2014, Saodat Ismailova, PG13)
Burdened by the weight of her past deeds, a young woman, Bibicha, retreats to her grandmother’s house in rural Uzbekistan and undertakes a 40-day vow of silence as atonement.

40 Days of Silence (Uzbekistan, 2014, Saodat Ismailova, PG13)

Aurora (Kyrgyzstan, 2018, Bekzat Pirmatov, PG13)
Aurora is an ostentatious, Soviet-era spa resort. Taking place over the course of a single day, but presented in a non-linear narrative structure, the film weaves farcical elements with social commentary, providing insight into present-day Kyrgyzstan. Aurora was selected as Kyrgyzstan's entry for Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Academy Awards.

Aurora (Kyrgyzstan, 2018, Bekzat Pirmatov, PG13)


Find out more about the films and how they can be rented at www.asianfilmarchive.org.

Share:

0 cent worth