Man Follows Birds
Ali Khamraev / SUHH, 1975 / 87 min.
For her exhibition at Eye, Saodat Ismailova selected films that inspired her. Man Follows Birds is a mystical film about a boy subjected to a merciless upbringing in timeless Uzbekistan. Stylistic highlight replete with extatically coloured landscapes.
Especially for her exhibition 18,000 Worlds, Saodat Ismailova selected films that provide an impression of the unfortunately unknown, yet exceptional cinematic history of Central Asia. For many years, filmmakers had to tow the line with Soviet ideology. Within these constraints, they developed their own way of portraying their countries, stories and culture. This created a unique cinematic legacy, the majority of which has never been seen outside the former Soviet Union. This film programme is an ode to the inspiring filmmakers from the region who, despite all the challenges, always continued to make films.
Saodat Ismailova about Man Follows Birds: “This coming-of-age story is set in a timeless situation. The script was written by Timur Zulfikarov, a major Tajik author and one of the first to develop a distinctive voice that deviated from Soviet ideology, but wasn’t censored. The music, visual language and actors also make this a great film. I also discern the influence of Sergej Parajanov”.
“Ali Khamraev is one of my biggest inspirations. If you watch his films, you will understand my work better. He was one of the filmmakers who came up during Khrushchev’s thaw and truly brought Uzbek film to life. He was not only important to Central Asia, but also to cinema in general. I am very happy to see his films screened at Eye, because it is a matter of time until his work is rediscovered and it is important to celebrate these filmmakers while they are still alive”.
Ali Khamraev will be our guest at Eye on 21 March 2023 for a conversation with Saodat Ismailova. Tickets are available here.
Check out the exhibition page for the other audience programmes accompanying the exhibition and the screenings of Central Asian films. Films specially selected for 18,000 Worlds can also be viewed on the Eye Film Player.
Chelovek ukhodit za pticami
In 18,000 Worlds, Saodat Ismailova explores the invisible foundations of Central Asia. Moving from personal to collective memory, she connects myths from the region to its recent history and addresses its spiritual heritage for healing. In 2022, the artist and filmmaker received the Eye Art & Film Prize for her oeuvre, in which she devotes attention to the complex, layered culture of her motherland. This is her first major retrospective exhibition.
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