PODCAST| Matt Micucci interviews Elizaveta Stishova, director of the film Suleiman Mountain.
To listen to the interview, click on the ► icon on the right, just above the picture
Director Elizaveta Stishova talks about her film Suleiman Mountain, which she screened at the inaugural edition of the Pingyao Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon International Film Festival in Pingyao, China. The film could be described as an unconventional road-trip-movie traveling through the countryside of Kyrgyzstan. Stishova talks about the presence of tradition in her film, the difficulties she encountered in making this movie, and about the actors. And then, the constant traveling, that not only defines the pace of Suleiman Mountain, but is also part of the tradition of the people of Kyrgyzstan, who have “always moved.” Among other things, Stishova also talks about her first experience in China, and why it reminds her of the past and the future of Russia.
Suleiman Mountain: If circumstances become too difficult to bear, blatant lies may be the only means to create a truth. After his son Uluk is suddenly thrust back into his life, charismatic con artist Karabas takes to the road with his two wives, swindling everyone they encounter along their path. But Uluk has a strong conscience and, once confronted, Karabas must choose between his scheming ways or a life of fatherhood. A place of religious significance for millennia, Kyrgyzstan’s Takht-i-Suleiman mountain was the midpoint on the ancient Silk Road. It is said to be the burial ground of its namesake, the prophet Solomon, and believed to bring healthy children to any woman who ascends to its shrine and crawls across its holy rock. In a drama that could be torn from the pages of Dostoevsky, the film’s rogue family circles this ancient sight in search of healing. Suleiman Mountain is the debut feature of Russian director Elizaveta Stishova, who establishes herself as a master of texturing comedy and drama. Kyrgyz culture is woven brilliantly throughout with reference to the nation’s revered epic poem Manas, and the traditional cultures and customs of the countryside. Audiences will find themselves along on a claustrophobic and sometimes paranoid journey, where every turn is unknown and every action has an equal and opposite reaction.