- Cecil B. DeMille
The Road to Eden (Kyrgyzstan)
Kubat Aliev (Marat Alyshpaev) seems like a regular retiree, a man of few words who just wants to spend his last years in peace. His apartment is located in a brutalist building from the Soviet Times in a residential area of Kyrgyzstan’s capital Bishkek. His furniture and memorabilia seem to be from the same period. Kubat is one of the fathers of Kyrgyzstan´s literature, but he stopped writing a long time ago. Now he lives in absolute precariousness in a society where wealth is the only thing that is valued.
A childless widower Kubat’s only wish is that literature will continue to illuminate the disenchanted nation to which he belongs. He puts his hope in his friend Sapar (Busurman Odurakaev) a talented young writer and heir to his legacy, who is gravely ill. Sapar needs money for an expensive treatment abroad and Kurbat is willing to help, even at the price that he has to sell his own apartment and move to a retirement home. He enlists his nephew Tilek (Bakyt Mukul, one of the directors of the film and actor by trade) to help sell the apartment. Tilek is the man of the present: quite materialistic, greedy and even sleazy, a man torn between respect for the patriarch of the family and the material interest that drives his life.
Directed by Bakyt Mukul and Dastan Zhapar Uulu, the directing duo that brought us the numerous awards winner A Father´s Will in 2016, The Road to Eden is based on the experience of Dastan Zhapar Uulu who once met a film director who spent all his retirement money in order to finish his film. In a certain sense, the film pays homage to all the artists who have contributed to the development of his country. “I was inspired by hope and faith in change, by the idea that we can cross the World at least with the knowledge that all is not lost”, explained Uulu. He shared with his partner Mukul, a sense of purpose when opting for social criticism and at the same time for observing the rich tapestry of their country´s customs and the changes in the Kirghiz society.
“We wanted to give due respect to all the characters, even Tilek, who despite his questionable choices, is someone who genuinely cares for his uncle,” said actor, writer and director Bakyt Mukul.
When it came to choosing the lead actor, the directors opted for Marat Alyshpaev, whom they had already counted on for their directorial debut A Father´s Will.
“Marat is simply amazing. He conveys with great skill the personality of Kubat. His acting personifies the message of the film by showing the full range of humanity, from wisdom to candid,” said Mukul who, with his portrait of Tilek, acts as a sidekick to Alyshpaev.”
The Road to Eden is essentially a film about people with a big heart and about their will, courage and noble acts. “With the help of the film we should not only narrate the story but enlighten, inspire, and create significant social changes”, said Uulu