Angel on the Right

Film, Drama
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Time Out says

Having spent the last decade or so in Moscow, Hamro (Maruf Pulodzoda) comes on canny and hard. But when he finally returns to his native Tajikistani village to tend to the needs of his ailing mother Halima (Uktamoi Miyasarova), he finds he can’t always get his way. For one thing, she wants a bigger gate in the garden – one a coffin can get through. For another, while he’s happy to do up the rest of her run-down house – so she’ll pop her clogs with dignity, but also so that he can then sell it – there’s the problem of his being penniless. Then there’s her nurse, unimpressed by his boorish advances, not to mention a surprising development that is accompanied by a beating from the local menfolk…

Usmonov’s very engaging fable takes a wry, compassionate look at the forces affecting life in post-Soviet Tajikistan – marked by seven years of civil war and closer contact with Western capitalism – by confronting its somewhat self-serving protagonist with various dilemmas and challenges. Will he stay off the straight and narrow, or will he make good? Is he helping or helped by his mother? Has he any sense of responsibility to others? All this and more is contained within a film whose realism is deceptive: just as Usmonov’s low-key narrative has moments of metaphor and magic, so the direction shifts from what at least looks like observation to more conspicuously expressive mode, with overhead angles, shadows, frames within a frame and so on. In the end, then, it’s a fable – about right and wrong, life and death, give and take, innocence and experience – told with wit, wisdom and feeling.

Details

Release details

Release date:
Friday November 12 2004
Duration:
89 mins

Cast and crew

Director:
Djamshed Usmonov
Cast:
Uktamoi Miyasarova
Maruf Pulodzoda
Kova Tilavpur
Malohat Maqsumova
Mardonqul Qulbobo