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The Light Thief  cover image

The Light Thief 2010


Distributed by Global Film Initiative, 145 Ninth St., #105, San Francisco, CA 94103
Produced by Altynai Koichumanova, Cedomir Kolar, Thanassis Karathanos, Marc Baschet, Karl Baumgartner and Denis Vaslin
Directed by Aktan Arym Kubat
DVD, color, 80 min.

Sr. High - General Adult
Asian Studies, Film Studies, Gender Studies, Philosophy, Sociology, Women’s Studies

Date Entered: 01/22/2013

Reviewed by Jennifer Dean, MALS student, City Univerity of New York (CUNY Graduate Center)

Aktan Arym Kubat’s The Light Thief is set in a small village at the base of the Kyrgzstan Alai Mountains. Writer/director Kubat, who also plays the title character, subtly tells the story of this amiable electrical worker who dreams of supplying his entire village with power from windmills. Considered a fool by the neighborhood because of his general benevolence and the simple wind propellers he maintains in his backyard as a sample of his windmill dreams, Mr. Light, as he is nicknamed, “steals” power for the poor and elderly in the village by resetting their meters. After the town mayor dies, a greedy landowner appoints Mr. Light’s hapless friend Mansur as mayor. Mr. Light is given hope by the landowner that his windmill dream might become a reality but refuses to engage in their corrupt and questionable negotiations. The symbol of light and power reverberates throughout the film. The village is as much of a character in the film as Mr. Light and his wife. There are wonderfully touching scenes with Mr. Light and his wife and children – and yet he still laments in a drunken stupor at one point in the film that he does not have a son. The film captures the pain and anguish of its characters and the village society as a whole through wonderful performances by the actors involved and beautiful camerawork.