The Seventh Bullet
Ali Khamraev / SUHH, 1972 / 81 min.
For her exhibition at Eye, Saodat Ismailova selected films that inspired her. This epic Soviet western (eastern) portrays the clash between the atheist Red Army and the rebels in Uzbekistan, the republic that has been Islamic for centuries.
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 The Seventh Bullet: “This is a wonderful film for mainstream audiences: a western set around the time the Uzbek Soviet Republic was founded. The Basmachi movement were denounced by the Soviets as bandits, but were however actually a resistance movement. Uzbek star Dilorom Kambarova was Khamraev’s muse. I used shots of her face from this film in my work Her Right, that is included in the exhibition”.
“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 brough 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.
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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