From 17 August 2021 until 7 September 2021, Klassiki is proud to present a retrospective of Ali Khamraev, a master of Uzbek cinema. A friend and regular collaborator with titans of Soviet filmmaking in the 1970s and 1980s, Khamraev’s work is a major influence on the increasingly confident language of Central Asian cinema. Accompanied by a rare interview with the director himself, Klassiki presents three of the Uzbek master’s unforgettable films.
TUESDAY 17 August: Man Follows Birds (1975)
Khamraev travels back into his nation’s past in this impressionistic fairytale based on the life of the medieval poet Farukh and his love for the maiden Amandyra. Shot through with a deep appreciation for the artistic history of Central Asia, boasting stunning production design and haunting visuals from cinematographer Yuri Klimenko, Man Follows Birds is Khamraev at his finest. With the seemingly simple tale of two boys running away from home, Khamraev earned comparisons to his close friends Sergei Parajanov, Andrei Tarkovsky, and Michelangelo Antonioni. They are more than justified by this dreamlike exploration of innocence and adventure.
TUESDAY 24 August: I Remember You (1985)
This hypnotic autobiographical film is dedicated to the memory of the director’s father – actor and director Ergash Khamraev, one of the founders of Uzbek cinema. Honouring the request of his sick mother, young Tashkent native Kim sets off in search of his father’s grave in distant Russia. Each episode along the way rekindles near-forgotten memories of his childhood in Samarkand, and Kim starts to understand both himself and his nation. This moving and imaginatively constructed parable is widely regarded as Ali Khamraev’s masterpiece.
TUESDAY 24 AUGUST: Triptych (1980)
Three womens’ lives intersect in a small town in Uzbekistan following the war. The first is an old woman trapped in a forced marriage; the second is a schoolteacher imposing progress on the remote region; the third is a young woman determined to build her own house without her husband’s or state approval. Drawing on Khamraev’s memories of his parents’ life, the film’s harsh vision, as well as its ambivalent attitude towards collectivism, made it the object of official disapproval.