Reviewed by: Scott Macdonald

Akbulak is a rather effective little fiction film about reconnecting to your roots. It's a well-told parable about how much you forget and how much people change over time. It tells the story of Olga, a fairly typical Western teenager who goes on a journey to her family's home in the small dusty town of Akbulak - a reintegration to the motherland.

It's a lively and original telling of a simple story - all of the culture shocks are present and correct: the shower only works when it's filled up, "After eight years you've forgotten the taste of real food", fusses the matriarch of the house, and a reintroduction with childhood friend Sascha is awkward due to the years gone by. A disastrous trip to the beach later, Olga rediscovers the haunts of her childhood, and the old friend she's forgotten.

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The film is a pleasant hymn to old-fashioned, simple memories, the things that shape us into the people we are (and being cleaned by spit is just as revolting as it ever was!). It's an optimistic film, scratch a cynic's derisive surface, and you'll find a passionate person, just gagging to come out. The performances are universally good, the film is attractive and well-made, and it tells a complete story in 12 minutes. A sweet movie.

Reviewed on: 21 Jun 2009
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Eight years after moving from Russia to Germany, 17-year-old Olja spends her summer holidays with her grandmother in a Russian village.
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Director: Tatiana Korol

Writer: Tatiana Korol

Starring: Janina Rudenska, Sergey Vidrashku, Milla Kaminskya

Year: 2008

Runtime: 12 minutes

Country: UK


BIFF 2009
EIFF 2009

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