Previously at the ICA - Films
12 Oct 2014
Nagima, the central character of this compelling and emotionally devastating drama from writer-director Zhanna Issabayeva, is a young woman brought up in an orphanage and now barely surviving in contemporary Kazakhstan. She washes dishes in the factory-like kitchen of a big restaurant in Almaty and steals leftovers to bring back to the shack she shares with Anya, her ‘sister’ from the orphanage. When the heavily pregnant Anya falls ill and requires medical help, Nagima is confronted by the desperately limited options available to both of them.
Featuring a lead performance of piercing authenticity by Dina Tukubayeva (herself raised in an orphanage), Nagima is underpinned by a genuine compassion for its struggling characters; and there’s a stark lyricism to the film’s documentary-style visuals. But be warned: this glimpse into life on the edges of Kazakh society doesn’t flinch from the brutal consequences of Nagima’s predicament, featuring scenes that some viewers will find harrowing. [Edward Lawrenson]
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