Back by popular demand! See the 20th WJFF Closing Night Film in a special second screening.
Sasha (Dalen Shintemirov), a young Jewish orphan, is sent into exile during a Stalinist purge. Losing his grandfather on the journey, Sasha is rescued by a gruff widowed rail worker Kasym (played by the renowned Kazakh actor Nurzhuman Ikhtimbaev). Kasym takes the boy to his remote village where Sasha becomes part of a surrogate family of other cast outs including the warm-hearted Vera (Yekatrina Rednikova). Sasha befriends other children and encounters an evil Russian army major and a nasty local policeman. Kasym, a Muslim living by the tenets of ethnic and religious tolerance, renames Sasha as Sabyr, meaning "humble of heart" in its Arabic origin, but the older man preserves the boy's Jewish identity. What Sasha/Sabyr finds on the lovingly-filmed, sweeping Kazakh steppes is more than survival in this lyrical story told through the poignant memories of a child.
Kazakhstan, 2008, 35mm, 97 minutes, Kazakh and Russian with English subtitles. Director: Rustem Abdrashev
Official Website: http://thejdc.convio.net/site/Calendar/346905840?view=Detail&id=121141
Added by DCJCC Film Program on December 29, 2009