Director: Emir Baigazin
"Harmony Lessons is a bona fide tour de force … endearing and repulsive, funny and tragic, appealing and terrifying, and never short of compelling." – Film Comment
This debut feature from writer/director Emir Baigazin takes us to a school in a remote village of Kazakhstan, where 13-year-old Aslan is subjected to a racket of bullying and extortion with roots extending well beyond the schoolyard. Humiliated and ostracised, the gifted student's behaviour starts to become obsessive, fuelling his ideas for justice and revenge on his tormentor: the violent, intimidating gang leader Bolat.
A dreamlike aura offsets some of the darker subject matter, leaving us with a haunting, thought-provoking film. Though focused on a localised and specific narrative, the story also functions as a political and humanistic allegory, exploring the mechanisms of violence and marginalisation seen in nearly every society.
"Intriguing, laconic, mysterious … a Himalaya-meets-Hitchcock hybrid." – Screen
D/S Emir Baigazin P Anna Katchko, JCS Kazakhfilm WS Films Distribution L Kazakh, Russian w/English subtitles TD DCP/2013
"This ultraviolent attack on Chinese consumerism is a stunning slap in the face from previously-sedate director Jia Zhang-ke." - The Guardian ... The blood hits the floor in this confronting look at … More »
China,France,Hong Kong, 2012
"An unquestionably eye-opening, deeply human, strikingly lensed look at an impoverished family whose rudimentary living conditions are a sharp riposte to the illusion of China's economic boom." - Var… More »
"Wonderfully captures nature's harsh beauty and provides a window into the colorful tumult of life in a part of Indonesia that's often overlooked." - Hollywood Reporter ... East Timorese refugees liv… More »
South Korea, 2012
A who's who of Korea's film scene come together in the scathingly self-aware new mockumentary from rising star E J-yong (The Actresses, MIFF 2009). ... As the cast and crew of an unnamed new film arr… More »
Hong Kong, 2013
"[Flora] Lau has crafted a drama that's both visually and emotionally lovely." - Screen Daily ... Anna is a stylish Hong Kong housewife who has just been abandoned by her wealthy husband; Fai, her ch… More »