Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB
Original title: Jol
Kazakhstan/France/Japan, 2001. Artcam International, Kadam-T Kazakhfilm Aïmanov, NHK. Screenplay by Darezhan Omirbayev, Limara Zjeksembayeva. Cinematography by Boris Trochev. Produced by Joel Farges, Elise Jalladeau, Makoto Ueda. Film Editing by R. Belyakova.
Skull-crushing bore about a film director on his way to his mother’s house after finding out that she is ill and near dying. While driving across the barren landscape of Kazakhstan, our protagonist has memory flashbacks to the various incidents leading up to this point in his life, scenes from childhood, fights with his wife and hassles from the relatives of his leading lady on his latest project, who object to an erotic scene in his latest work. Along the way he has a brief friendship with a beautiful young waitress at a roadside restaurant. The film is spare and dry, never revelatory of any of the characters’ inner emotions and never features enough character interaction to sustain the quieter moments.
Toronto International Film Festival: 2001