The Stranger


Kazakhstan. 1993. 90 min. Color
Russian and English dialogue
Directed: Timur Suleimenov
Written: Timur Suleimenov, with the participation of John Goldstein
Camera: Talgat Taishanov
Sound: Oleg Tlepov
Music: Kuat Shildebaev
Edited: Iuliia Milova
With: Kanat Esentaev, John Goldstein, Gabit Mukhamed'ianov, Rusanna Goncharova
Awards: 1995 Grand Prize at Bratislava ; 1996 Second Place Prize at St. Anna Film Festival (Russia)

The film is a surrealistic drama, in which two different plots lines intersect on some mystical level.  In the first story, a young boy possesses an unexplainable talent: his soul can separate from his body.  As the boy falls asleep, his soul moves into the body of his mother's murdered boyfriend, who then sets out to find his murderers.

In the second story, an American pathologist comes to Kazakhstan on an exchange program.  As he explores this exotic world, he meets a young man, travels with him for a few days, and even tries to help him find the people for whom he is searching.  One day he finds his friend dead, while other people claim he has already been dead for days.  The pathologist's examination confirms what he knows to be impossible.

The film was recently screened at the 2001 Viennale retrospective of Central Asian films.


Timur Suleimenov was born in Aralsk, Kazakhstan in 1959. After studying engineering, he switched to filmmaking and studied at the State Institute for Filmmaking (VGIK) in Moscow from 1982 until 1987.


1987 Death of a Bank Clerk (diploma, short)
1992 The Shadow of a Boy (short)
1993 The Stranger
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