SIFF 2013 BEST NEW DIRECTOR: GRAND JURY PRIZE
A stark, surreal, strange, and entirely riveting tale of a marginalized teenage boy. Young Kazakh director Emir Baigazin's accomplished debut creates a poetic and mature study of school bullying and the strength of the survival instinct in a small town in rural Kazakhstan.
June 4, 2013
|8:30 PM||SIFF Cinema Uptown||Date has passed|
June 6, 2013
|3:00 PM||SIFF Cinema Uptown||Date has passed|
Young Kazakh director Emir Baigazin's film Harmony Lessons was part of the Main Competition at the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival—a rarity for a debut. Stark and surreal in somber blue tones, Baigazin's mature clear vision and precise command of film as both visual and emotional storytelling clearly reveal the life of children imprisoned in their own society. It's easy to understand how constant dysfunction, a microcosm of larger dysfunction, builds and dominates the life of an adolescent. Harmony Lessons opens with Aslan butchering a goat while his grandmother looks on. The rest of the action takes place at school. An incident where Aslan is humiliated and then ostracized makes him withdraw and begin to exhibit obsessive hygiene and other weird behaviors. Burying himself in studies of electricity, biology, evolution, peace, and war, he quietly and methodically plans his future actions. How to survive bullies without being a bully? Will the new kid Mirsayan save him? Shot in HD on a RED camera, the film is the work of an impeccable visual stylist.
Emir Baigazin studied film at the National Art School in Aktobe and subsequently attended the Asian Film Academy in South Korea. Harmony Lessons (2013) is his first feature-length film, which premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Sponsored in part by the Seattle-Tashkent Sister City Association, Comcast Xfinity
|Principal Cast:||Timur Aidarbekov, Aslan Anarbayev, Mukhtar Anadassov, Anelya Adilbekova, Beibitzhan Muslimov|
|Running Time:||110 minutes|
|Awards:||Berlin Film Festival 2013 (Oustanding Artistic Contribution in Camera, Reader Jury of the “Berliner Morgenpost”)|
|Filmography:||Debut Feature Film|
|International Sales:||Films Distribution|