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All That Glitters

 
All That Glitters

(Mlčeti zlato) Director: Tomáš Kudrna , CZ, 2010, original version / English subtitles, 99 min

At first glance, time seems to have stood still in the west Kyrgyz village of Barskon. Veterans of the Second World War enjoy the greatest respect and many of the people here look back with nostalgia at the socialist era, when everyone had work, healthcare was free and "we all had it just as good". The gulags seem to be the only thing the locals have somehow forgotten about... One of the protagonists in the film is the slightly mysterious truck driver Nurbek, who has been working with his wife for 10 years in the local gold mine known as Kumtor. This is the place where the director Tomáš Kudrna faithfully documents the peculiar form of capitalism and democracy that prevails in a country that looks like an open-air Soviet museum. We see the petty disputes between the locals and also look at the events of 1998, when two tonnes of cyanide leaked into the river from the Kumtor mine and poisoned hundreds of villagers. Kudrna's distinctive and visually refined "film diary" of a long-term stay in Barskon was the first ever Czech documentary to receive support from the Sundance Documentary Fund.


 

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