Part Pulp Fiction, part Betty Blue, Naugmanov’s The Needle charts the attempt of enigmatic drifter, Moro, who returns to Almaty to get his ex girlfriend off heroine. The couple escape to the Aral sea but find that the sea has all but disappeared. When they return to the city, the mafia are waiting for them. Boasting brilliant and dangerous performances from Soviet rock stars, Viktor Tsoi as Moro and Peter Mamonov of Zvuki Mu as his drug-dealing enemy, this film was the first to break the Soviet taboo of depicting drug addiction. It is widely seen as the film that created the Kazakh New Wave.
Often referred to as the James Dean of Soviet cinema, and dying in a tragic car accident in 1990, this is a rare opportunity to see Tsoi on screen and to celebrate this film’s 30th anniversary. The film is screened on 35mm and accompanied by an introduction by the director and leading figure of the Kazakh New Wave, Rachid Nougmanov. It is followed by a Q&A with noted film critic and journalist Alexander Kan of BBC Russia.
This screening is hosted in partnership with Pushkin House and the British-Kazakh Society.