FRANCE, GERMANY / 1999 / Kazakh / Color / 35mm (1: 1.66) / 54 min

Director, Editing: Sergei Dvortsevoy
Photography: Alishef Khamidkhodjaev
Sound: Sarfen Saraibaev
Producer: Chantal Bernheim
Production Company, Source: DUNE
World Sales: Jane Balfour Films
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Sergei Dvortsevoy

Born in 1962 in Chimkent, Kazakhstan. After studying aviation in Ukraine, worked as aviation engineer in Kazakhstan while studying in the radiotechnical department of the Novosibirsk's Institute. Studied in the Highest Courses for scriptwriters and film directors in Moscow 1990-93. His first film, Paradise (1995), won an Award of Excellence at New Asian Currents YIDFF'97. The film also took prizes in San Francisco, Nyon, Stuttgart, Kiev, St. Petersburg, Leipzig, and Cinema du Reel Paris. His second film, Bread Day (1997), also received many awards and was nominated for the Joris Ivens Prize in Amsterdam in 1998. Highway is his third film.

Highway, the newest work by Sergey Dvortsevoy, a director known for his unique works like Paradise (1995), which showed in New Asian Currents at YIDFF '97, and Bread Day (1998), which received a special jury prize at last year's Taiwan Documentary Film Festival. This film depicts a family of street performers on the highway between Central Asia and Moscow in an old bus. The Tajibajev family - husband, wife and six children from one to 16 years old - travel through the steppes of Kazakhstan, making their living by performing in villages and hamlets along the highway; the oldest son hanging a 32-kilo iron ball from his mouth, and the youngest children walking on shards of glass. The camera disinterestedly captures the family's everyday conduct as they eat, rest, perform before meager audiences and even catch a young eagle at the side of the road. This is what connects the unique central Asian flow of time and space. What this unusual description surely proves is that regardless of any violent social upheaval in the post-Soviet era, daily life goes on.
[Murayama Kyoichiro]

Director's Statement
A steppe to the horizon.
The sun and the wind.

A Uigur circus family, husband, wife and six kids, from one to 16 years old, travels along the highway from Peking to Moscow by old bus from village to village, earning their living by performing in the open air. That's the way, by mere verbiage, I try to start a prescription of my every new film for a catalogue. I suffer but nothing ever comes of it. There is nothing interesting in words, describing people cranking a bus, going along the steppes, eating, sleeping, quarreling and loving each other. There is nothing sensational here and everything is banal and boring in words. For a long time I have wondered why this is. It's not like this on screen, you see. And I've come to understand that it's silly to describe what is not possible to describe: the beauty and mystery of everyday life. One must see it only and feel. Observe together with me quietly and everything will happen. I propose just that to the audience of my film Highway.

COPYRIGHT:Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival Organizing Committee