Aktan Arym Kubat | France, Kyrgystan | 2010 | 80’ | Kyrgyz spoken, Dutch subtitles | Distribution: Contact Film
Kyrgyz filmmaker Aktan Arym Kubat has set his tragicomedy The Light Thief against the backdrop of the 2005 Tulip Revolution. The film cautiously criticizes the problems arising from the democratization of post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan.
Local electrician Svet-ake (Mr. Light), played by Arym Kubat himself, lives with his wife and four daughters in Kyrgyzstan’s mountainous and desolate south. He dreams of two things: having a son and bringing cheap, wind-powered energy to the people living in the valley. Kind Svet-ake is much loved in the community, as he not only helps them out whenever the power’s gone, but also provides a listening ear to anyone fretting over personal problems. One day, Bekzat, a young politician, comes to the village to realize a land deal with Chinese investors. He tries to sweet talk Svet-ake into cooperation, but soon the electrician recognize that this sort of capitalism implies the potential death of his country’s centuries-old traditions. Svet-ake takes on a literal and metaphorical fight for the light in the lives of his countrymen.