Film: Pure Coolness -  Ernest Abdyjaparov

Abducted bride acquiesces in her fate

October 2008 -

Asem lives in a large city in Kyrgyz. She visits the village home of her intended, Murat, to meet his parents and to learn about the traditions of life in the village. Tragic and comical developments, however, lead to her ultimate abduction by another family. She is forced to marry their son, a sheep herder. After a period of fierce resistance, she acquiesces in her fate. Asem likes living in the mountains, and after some time passes the two even learn to love one another.


Still from Pure Coolness

Ernest Abdyjaparov pokes fun at rural traditions. His film portrays the machinations of the ancient Kyrgyzian tradition of abducting brides. Shaped into a romantic story, the film makes use of clear light and vibrant colours. His ultimate objective, however, remains unclear. There are a few heavily caricaturised romantic scenes, for example: when Asem and Murat travel to the village, with wonderful views from the bus accompanied by honeyed music. Or one of the first mornings, when Asem steps out of her tent, admires the mountains, takes a deep breath of fresh air and does a happy jig. Is he poking fun or merely portraying beauty and romance?

Abdyjaparov tells his story with humour and a bit of mockery. If he truly intends to criticise this cultural custom, however, he should have done so more sharply and explicitly. Perhaps he is merely telling a love story and showing something of Kyrgyz's culture. In any event, Pure Coolness is an entertaining film, quick-paced and marvellous to watch.

Pure Coolness will show in various film thatres in the Netherlands, starting on 9 October 2008. At the pre-premiere, 8 October in the Amsterdam Rialto, Tanja Vranic from Hivos will introduce Hivos partner Cinema Development Fund in Kirgizië. Pure Coolness was supported by the Hubert Bals Fund.