BIFF 2019 Opening Film Preview: “The Horse Thieves. Roads of Time”

“The Horse Thieves. Roads of Time” has been selected as the opening film for this year’s 2019 Busan International Film Festival.

BIFF Synopsis

One morning, a man who loves his family very much goes to a town market to sell his horse with the other villagers. After exchanging affectionate glances with his wife, and leaving his 10-year-old son and two daughters still in a deep sleep, the man goes to the market and is killed by horse thieves, holding a kitten in his arms for his kids.

With the help of the villagers, the wife holds the man′s funeral and decides to return to her family with her kids. Then, another man who left her 8 years ago without leaving any notes appears to help the woman move. Somehow, the son of the wife resembles the man and learns to ride a horse from him. One day, they go out on horseback together and bump into the horse thieves.

Image: BIFF

The film perfectly embodies the aesthetics of the widescreen and also features genre fun in addition to the beauty of the margins unique to Central Asian films. The vast expanse of grassland and the blue sky merging into the grassland unfolds the spectacular sight, whereas the duel with the horse thieves driving dozens of horses over the grassland provides the sense of urgency and the exciting spectacles. In that sense, it’s worthy of being called a Kazakhstan version of ‘Western movie.’

The Horse Thieves was directed by Yerlan Nurmukhambetov, who won the New Currents Award in BIFF 2015, with Lisa Takeba.

This film is also the winner of the 2017 Asia Project Market (APM). Samal Yesleyamova, who won the best actress award at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival starred in this film as well.

Director: Yerlan Nurmukhambetov, Lisa Takeba

Producer: Julia Kim, Hikaru Kinouchi, Serik Zhubandykov, Shozo Ichiyama

Cast: Samal Yeslyamova, Madi Minaidarov, Mirai Moriyama, Dulyga Akmolda

Run Time: 84 minutes

Country: Kazakhstan, Japan

Source: Busan International Film Festival

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