Stranger / Zhat
Dir : Ermek Tursunov / Kazakhstan / 105 mins
The story begins in the steppes of 1930s Kazakhstan, where little Ilyas lives with his father amidst the ravages of famine and the terrorizing collectivization imposed by the Soviet Union. Orphaned by the systematic purge that took his father away in the dead of night, Ilyas escapes to the mountains. There, he turns his back on progress, taking up with a pack of wolves and choosing to live according to ancestral ways. Yet he remains watchful of the changes occurring down below. His chosen way of life, his ever-growing longing for villager Kamshut, and the rising dominance of Soviet modernity will prove to be the sources of Ilyas’ lifelong struggle.