Cinematic program

Cinematic program

Uzbekistan Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

The Minaret of Death, 1925. Directed by Vyacheslav Viskovsky.

August 20, 2022
Cinematic program
79th Venice International Film Festival celebration
August 27–September 11, 2022
Uzbekistan Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
Quarta Tesa
Arsenale, Castello
30122 Venice Italy

To celebrate the 79th Venice International Film Festival, the National Pavilion of Uzbekistan launches its 2022 cinematic program. During the period of 10 days, the Pavilion will host a series of lectures, workshops, film screenings, and round talk discussions dedicated to the Central Asian film industry, its history and features. Come and join us at the Pavilion to discover untold stories of Central Asian Cinema.

On August 27, the Pavilion will host a discussion on Central Asian Cinema moderated by film critics Eldjon Abbasov and Nigora Karimova.

On August 29, Uzbekistan National Pavilion invites you to a unique cultural event—a cinematic and performative programme. The Pavilion will screen Minaret of Death—a silent film, the first production of the reputable cinematographic society Bukhkino, that will be accompanied by a live music performance by famous Uzbek musicians playing traditional instruments. The event is a part of the Floating Cinema film festival in Venice.

Released in 1925, Minaret of Death tells the story of a beautiful princess of the Khiva Khanate. The princess became a victim of thieves on her way to the Emirate of Bukhara and fell victim to the greed and jealousy of the son of the Emir of Bukhara who decided to throw her out of the minaret for disobeying his will. For more than a year, the famous director and screenwriter Vyacheslav Viskovsky and Aleksandr Balagin have been working on this film to convey the whole philosophy and struggle of the main characters, giving attention to every little detail.

The screening that will take place in the boats in the middle of Venice lagoon is also unique in its performative part. The spectators will witness live musical accompaniment by famous Uzbek musicians Abror Zufarov, who will be playing tanbur and sato, and Shamshod Isaev who will be playing nai and ghijak. Both have gained knowledge and skills in playing traditional musical instruments from generation to generation if fathers. 

On August 30, a traditional Uzbek music performance by Abror Zufarov and Shamshod Isaev will be hosted at the Uzbekistan National Pavilion.

On September 9,  film critic and curator Alexey Artamonov, and film directors and screenwriter Adilkhan Yerzhanov and Mikhail Borodin will discuss limits of the possible social impact of cinema.

The feature film Goliath by Kazakh filmmaker and screenwriter Adilkhan Yerzhanov will be shown as part of the New Horizons competition program at the 79th Venice International Film Festival. The film is set in the fictional Karatas village that has been living under the control of a reckless local official. Yerzhanov allegorically referred to the most sensitive problems of his native Kazakhstan. A young director of fiction and documentary films from Uzbekistan Mikhail Borodin (Produkty 24, Berlinale 2022), on the contrary, uses real stories to metaphorically portray the difficulties of life in Central Asia, such as cruel exploitation of migrants, unpaid forced labor and the lack of social protection mechanisms. 

On September 11, the pavilion will screen experimental films of Anzhela Trofimova and Dmitry Trofimov.

The duo was formed in Tashkent in the late 1980s in a local amateur film club that used the Soviet production system for experimental filmmaking.In the 1990s the artists moved to Moscow. Although their work was close in spirit to the Moscow post-conceptual “parallel cinema”, they were never fully embraced by the movement, and stylistically always stood apart. Their practice is much closer to the avant-garde film practices of the 1920s, along with the visionary experiments of the American post-war film underground, and Derek Jarman’s 8mm films. This retrospective, posthumous for Dmitry Trofimov, will feature the entire spectrum of their works: from black-and-white and color films of the 1990s to digital experiments carried out in the new millennium. After the screening, a discussion will be held with the participation of Angelica Ashikhmina and the curator of the program Alexey Artamonov.

“A look into the past: Central Asian cinema”: August 27, 4–6pm
Film screening and discussion moderated by Eldjon Abbasov and Nigora Karimova
Uzbekistan Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, Venice Italy, Arsenale, Castello, Quarta Tesa

Floating Cinema: August 29, 7–9pm
The Minaret of Death film screening accompanied by Abror Zufarov’s traditional Uzbek music performance
Rio de Sant’Eufemia

Music encounter: August 30, 4–5:30pm
Acquaintance with the unique musical culture of Uzbekistan with Abror Zufarov and Shamshod Isaev
Uzbekistan Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, Venice Italy, Arsenale, Castello, Quarta Tesa

“How central asian cinema comprehens social reality”: September 9, 4–6pm
Conversation with Adilkhan Yerzhanov, Mikhail Borodin( film directors, screenwriters), Alexey Artamonov (film critic, curator)
Uzbekistan Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, Venice Italy, Arsenale, Castello, Quarta Tesa

“The restoration of dreams: Tashkent film avant-garde”: September 11, 4–6pm
Film screening and Q&A with Anzhela Trofimova and Dmitry Trofimov
Uzbekistan Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, Venice Italy, Arsenale, Castello, Quarta Tesakist

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Uzbekistan Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
August 20, 2022

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