Adilkhan YERZHANOV Kazakhstan 92 mins NC16 (Some Violence) Southeast Asian Premiere
A portrait of a man caught between the desire for revenge and the refusal to perpetuate the cycle of violence.
In an inventive subversion of the classic tale of David and Goliath, Adilkhan Yerzhanov returns to the southern Kazakh town of Karatas with a masterful tale of poetic justice. Assuming the role of the underdog is the diminutive Arzu, who has suffered a series of tragedies at the hands of chain-smoking tyrannical ganglord Poshaev.
Filled with moments of sardonic wit, the conflict between Arzu and Poshaev demonstrates the fragile foundations of strongman masculinity cloaked in Machiavellian benevolence. Amid gangster authoritarian rule and with no viable alternative, Arzu has to choose between blissful vengeance or painful forgiveness.
Adilkhan YERZHANOV is a major figure in Kazakh cinema. Following his breakout feature The Owners (2014), which competed in SGIFF, he went on to make acclaimed films like The Gentle Indifference of the World (2018) and A Dark, Dark Man (2019). Goliath premiered in the Orizzonti Extra section at Venice.