Discovery

Suleiman Mountain

Elizaveta Stishova

Suleiman smountain 01

A small-time con man, his two wives, and his recently returned son travel through the countryside of Kyrgyzstan, in Elizaveta Stishova’s unconventional family-road-trip drama.

If circumstances become too difficult to bear, blatant lies may be the only means to create a truth. After his son Uluk is suddenly thrust back into his life, charismatic con artist Karabas takes to the road with his two wives, swindling everyone they encounter along their path. But Uluk has a strong conscience and, once confronted, Karabas must choose between his scheming ways or a life of fatherhood.

A place of religious significance for millennia, Kyrgyzstan's Takht-i-Suleiman mountain was the midpoint on the ancient Silk Road. It is said to be the burial ground of its namesake, the prophet Solomon, and believed to bring healthy children to any woman who ascends to its shrine and crawls across its holy rock. In a drama that could be torn from the pages of Dostoevsky, the film's rogue family circles this ancient sight in search of healing.

Suleiman Mountain is the debut feature of Russian director Elizaveta Stishova, who establishes herself as a master of texturing comedy and drama. Kyrgyz culture is woven brilliantly throughout with reference to the nation's revered epic poem Manas, and the traditional cultures and customs of the countryside. Audiences will find themselves along on a claustrophobic and sometimes paranoid journey, where every turn is unknown and every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

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