Thursday, July 30, 2009


If all you know about Kazakhstan comes from Borat then Tulpan will take you by surprise. This is not the Kazakhstan of Paper Soldier either. The endless vistas are there and two humped camels, but this is summer and the steppes are dry and dusty and almost devoid of people.

Asa has come home after serving in the Russian fleet. He intends to implement his dream of being a nomadic sheep herder on the steppes, but he is told that you need to be married before you can get a flock. There is only one girl in the district, Tulpan, who lives half a day's drive away -- and she objects to Asa's ears. It turns out that Asa is no more successful at helping his brother-in-law with the sheep than he is with girls. Despite his incompetence, Asa remains defiantly optimistic and determined to succeed. The supporting cast includes Asa's little niece who sings incessently and the more annoyed she is with her father the louder she sings.

The camera work in the outside shots is beautiful, and the film could almost be viewed as a documentary on yurt based life on the Kazakh steppes.

Ian's rating 3/5

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