Monday, December 22, 2008

Fotima va Zuhra: Sisters 4E

A few weeks ago, Miss Talibonita watched the Uzbek film Fotima va Zuhra on and she could not stop crying.

Gulchеhra Eshonqulova (Fotima)

The film itself is a tragic story of a family that falls apart. About half hour into the film, the sister has killed herself, the brother is knifed by his former friends, and his father is killed by a chubby Uzbek mafioso (well... okay... Godfather wasn't so slim either). There is no translation, so not many of you out there may understand.

So here is the full story: Fotima and Zuhra are happy sisters. Okay, Zuhra is a little lazy and spoiled while Fotima, the elder, is the more responsible one. Their mother died a while back, so its just the sisters, their father and a wayward brother who comes home drunk most of the time and joins a bad gang of friends, who are sociopathic serial rapists (but they only attack hookers except on one tragic night!). One of the brother's bad friends does not harm Fotima, so he follows around Zuhra with a heavy heart and ends up falling in love with her! Its his chubby father who killed Zuhra's father. Anyway, the rest is tragic cinema Uzbek style. Tough girl that Zuhra turns out to be! Perhaps the most moving part for Miss Talibonita were the sister scenes.

The film stars a famous Uzbek pop singer Shahzoda, so there is a music video for the movie on youtube. The film seems to have won the drama of the year award (2006) in Uzbekistan. Miss Talibonita found another review of the film and a few other Uzbek films that came out around the same time and the reviewer, who was a mother, complained that this film and others of its genre promoted limitless power for youth, especially those with money in Uzbekistan.

Its true there weren't any authority figures in this film, not effective ones anyway. No policeman helps Zuhra and her family (no police reports are filed! Or at least, not on camera). But then again, this is Uzbekistan. Her uncle walks with a cane, appears only once and is much much older than her father was. There is a sense of the youth having to take things into their own hands without any of the older generation or government authority being able to help. This is interesting. It connects with the latest ads Uzbekistan is running on Euronews: "Young Uzbekistan Welcomes You."

Still any film whose main character is named Zuhra has Miss Talibonita's attention! It had a feminist ending, the surviving sister, Zuhra sets things straight. And remember, much of this film watching is to strengthen linguistic skills. All in all it was an enjoyable film!

Ulug'bek Qodirov (Gorgeous!) and Shahzoda (Zuhra)

See 8:30 in this clip for the happy sisterhood of Fotima and Zuhra.

Here she meets her sister's spirit at midnight and gets her advice (starts at 11:04):

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