Film Screening & Discussion: The Light Thief, with director Aktan Arym Kubat

Thursday, November 3, 2016
Harriman Institute Atrium (12th Floor IAB, 420 West 118th St.)

Please join us for a screening of The Light Thief followed by a discussion with director Aktan Arym Kubat.

Film Length: 80 minutes

Synopsis: They call him "Svet-ake" ("Mr. Light"). The electrician is responsible for bringing more than just light to the people around him. Like moths, everybody is drawn to his kindness: those with short circuits in their electricity, and those with short circuits in their marriage, those who have taken all the power in the city, and those who have given up the will to live. He helps everyone and is everywhere. He doesn't even shy from breaking the law, rewinding an old and lonely pensioner's electricity meter so that he doesn't owe the State, but rather the State owes him.

The economic devastation of the country has had an enormous impact on the working people and yet despite the upheaval they have not lost the ability to love, to suffer, to share their lives with friends, and enjoy what they have... in particular our resilient electrician who possesses a wonderful and open heart. He not only brings electric light (which is often out) to the lives of the inhabitants of this village, but he also spreads the light of love, loyalty, life, and most of all, lots of laughter.

He only has two dreams: to someday have a son and to provide people with cheaper energy through wind power.

The country is the midst of a revolution. Power lies in the hands of greed-driven people, obsessed with their personal enrichment. "Svet-ake" is a resistance against this dark madness. He who brings the light, takes it away, leaving the darkness in the dark. Only the light of the dream remains glowing in the night; a candle of a very delicate hope.

Aktan Arym Kubat was born in 1957 in Kyrgyzstan and graduated from the Art Academy in Bishkek (formerly Frunze). He started working as a production designer in the 1980’s, writing his first screenplay in 1995. His films have been screened at various international film festivals and have received multiple awards. Aktan Arym Kubat gained international attention for his work, winning the Golden Leopard of the Future at Locarno in 1993 for The Swing and the Silver Leopard for The Adopted Son in 1998.

Other information:
A trailer can be viewed at The Match Factory website.

Original Language: Kyrgyz
Original Title: Svet-Ake
Producers: Cedomir Kolar, Marc Baschet, Altynai Koichumanova, Thanassis Karathanos, Denis Vaslin, Karl Baumgartner 
Writer: Aktan Arym Kubat 
Cinematographer: Hassan Kydyraliyev 
Sound: Bakyt Niyazaliev
Production Designer: Talgat Asyrankulov 
Costumes: Inara Abdieva

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