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Winds of Asia “P.S” Interview with Yalkin Tuychiev (Director) (10/28)

Winds of Asia “P.S” Interview with Yalkin Tuychiev (Director) (10/28)

Uzbek films are not yet well known in Japan. In 1994, the “Central Asia Film Festival” was held by the Japan Foundation, through which “Abdulladzhan” (Zulfikar Musakov) achieved commercial release. Although the Uzbekistan Film Festival was held in 2002 and 2007, hardly any films reach commercial release as the environment has become increasingly difficult in the film industry. The following is an interview with Yalkin Tuychiev, regarding the situations in the Uzbek film industry and his films which are substantial and filled with a sense of tension, while providing many insights into people and society
©2010 TIFF

---Uzbekfilm, the production company of this film, is a state-run studio, and Uzubekkino, which handles the world sales, is also a state-run film company. I hear the government is committed to boosting the film industry.

Indeed, Uzbekistan is the only country in Central Asia where the government is subsidising the film industry. 15 of 35mm films, 60-hours videos and 12 to 15 animations are planned a year, and all these are funded by the government.

---Does the whole country like films?

In terms of promoting Uzbek films, there is the Executive Order of the President. It aims to raise the level of the film industry. Of course the nation loves films. In addition to the state funded programmes, about 45 videos are made with private funds.

---What sort of films do people like?

It seems to me that the Japanese people like Japanese films. Similarly, Uzbek people like Uzbek films. As for foreign films, American blockbuster films and Russian films are often screened.
©2010 TIFF

---The contrast between the younger brother who is a teacher in a big town and the elder brother who lives with his mother in the countryside. Does this reflect a real issue in Uzbekistan?

What I wanted to show in this film is not the real Uzbekistan, but that a malicious intention will come to the fore if you don’t pay attention to your life. A story of Minotaur is mentioned. What the younger brother talks about are just words, but the elder brother takes those words emotionally as his own experience, and a conflict arises. Words to the younger brother have become empty, but they are very real for the elder brother.
I wanted to present issues which are common to all mankind. I think things that have been accumulated over the history are losing stream. For example, I don’t see Japanese people walking in Kimonos any more.

---Since Hamid is struck by the lightening, everything looks different, which is shown in the mirror, collapsing tiles and extending threads around. I hear you studied script writing in Moscow. I suspect the script for this film is precise; Did you make any changes to the script while filming?

I am a script writer as well as a film director. A script writer’s job is to complete a final version of the script, but a film director may remove or alter some of the script if it does not suit the idea. The last scene was the most difficult. It was difficult to film it in one cut, but we managed to shoot it by making use of a harvester which we found on location.

---Does the tile “P.S” have special meaning?

I wanted to say that a great risk will await if people carry on living like this. Something really awful may happen this time. Various incidents in life are all followed by postscript. Spirituality is getting lost in modern society. Spirituality is just an add-on in modern society. People wrote letters in the past, which took 1 week to get to the other party, and it contained the writer’s energy. But these days people just exchange information through social networking service. What was a miracle in the past is becoming ordinary now.

---What is the plan for your next film?

Tuychiev: Nothing is planned at the moment, but there are two works, “Slow Life” and “Nine Months” which are being edited at UzbekfIlm based on my scripts.

(Interviewed by Miyuki Natsume)

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