Writer-director Abdyshaparov’s narrative debut shows not only his considerable documentary skills, but a sweet talent for satire. Belying its tiny budget ($120,000), his portrait of a small Kyrgyz mountain village makes for a comedy as politically acute and socially affectionate as those emanating from such as the Czech new wave in the late ‘60s. Ten years of national independence sees the villagers coping with the effects of Moscow’s withdrawal in their different ways. The old codgers selling what they can to fund their vodka habit; the cop taking advantage of every local husband and father’s absence; the ex-communist party members either jailed for espousing socialism or running the show as ‘new capitalists’; the mayor having a heart attack reconciling conflict, not least that between poverty and hope. Lovely, deadpan comic performances, lovely film.