Kazakh documentarian Segei Dvortsevoy won the prix Un Certain Regard for this, his first feature - an astonishing ethnographic drama-cum-wildlife movie. As comic as it is awe-inspiring, Tulpan is set in the vast emptiness of southern Kazakhstan's Hunger Steppe. Having completed his miltary service, a young nomad named Asa returns home to his brother-in-law's yurt with hopes of becoming a shepherd. But is such a a life any longer possible in the moder world? First, Asa must wind the affections of his beautiful neighbour, Tulpan. Dvortsevoy gives us the bleak beauty of the steppe's windswept landscape: the endless sky, the camel stampedes, the raucous behaviour of a reggae-loving teamster, and one of the most remarkable animal birth scenes ever captured on film.
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