The Road, 2001

If the visual expression of artistic process in Federico Fellini’s surreal and reflexive film, 8 1/2 were to be distilled into the spare, elemental cinema of Abbas Kiarostami, the result would likely be similar to Darezhan Omirbaev’s evocatively muted, endearing, innately affectionate, and poetic film, The Road. A pensive director named Amir Kobessov (played by fellow Kazhakstanian filmmaker, Jamshed Usmanov) is currently in the process of editing his next film (based on Omirbaev’s Killer) when he receives a telegram informing him of his mother’s illness and is encouraged by his wife to return to his rural hometown and pay a visit. Alternately reflecting on dilemmas of artistic integrity, cultural and traditional reverence, self-doubt, inspiration, marital friction, fidelity, physical attraction, and familial estrangement, The Road is a visually sublime and understatedly metaphoric insight into the creative – and innately human – struggle of the contemplative soul.

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