According to an ancient faith, everyone is accompanied in life by two invisible angels. The angel on the right shoulder records your good deeds, while that on the left shoulder records the evil ones. At the end of your life, the decision is taken whether you go to heaven or hell. Halima was left ten years ago by her son Khamro, who went to try his luck in Russia. Halima fears that if she dies, her coffin will not fit through the narrow front door and will have to be lifted over the walls of the garden. That would be an unbearable humiliation. So Halima thinks up a ruse: she pretends she is on her deathbed so that her son will return and install the broad, beautifully lavish door once promised. Khamro does indeed come home, but to make the journey, he has to borrow money from conmen. He thinks he can use the value of the house to pay off his creditors, but everything changes when his mother doesn’t die and he is suddenly confronted with an unsuspected son. In making the film, Usmonov remained close to his roots. The film was shot in his home village Asht, where fact and fiction intermingle. The roles of Halima and Khamro are played by his mother and brother and also his father, an uncle and a cousin – all amateurs – had a role to play. France/I/CH/TJ 2002 Regie: Djamshed Usmonov 88 min, 35mm, 1:1,66, Farbe, Dolby, OF mit engl. UT Cannes (Un certain regard, 2002); Rotterdam 2003; FIPRESCI-Preis, London Film […]

Muallim – The Teacher

Samadar is the only teacher in a small Tajikistani village. He teaches all his pupils with the same dedication, just like his father Nazar would teach him during the time of the Soviet Union. He also looks after his father, his father who is prepared for death, but wants to wait until his second son Yusuf returns from Moscow. Tajikistan’s most important director tenderly tells us a universal story of family life set against the backdrop of a communist past and an Islamic present. TAD 2014 Regie: Nosir Saidov 76 min, Colour, DCP, Original with English subtitles


Everything seems to be fine in a small village in Tajikistan. The villagers are looking forward to the upcoming marriage between Nilufar and her loved one. One day soldiers appear in order and put up a barbed wire right through the middle of the village, splitting the community in two parts. The marriage seems to be impossible. Kirill, operator of the national climate observatory, helps the lovers to make the marriage possible on schedule.   Tajikistan 2009 Regie: Nosir Saidov 83 min , 35mm, Farbe, OF mit engl. UT