Night Accident (2017)

A hushed, heartsore, wholly immersive story of tentative human connection across a generational gulf, [Night Accident] […] fully deserves to take up the baton for [Kyrgyzstan’s] distinctive and exciting national cinema […]. Its deceptive quietude imbues the most banal of incidents […] with fascination, and lets faces and actions convey the simple but increasingly evocative narrative with almost silent-movie elegance. […] Though shot through with a strain of stone-faced humor, it saddens the soul a little, but it’s a wise and soothing sort of sadness: a story about a last chance.

The unlikely hero of this defiantly unheroic tale is referred to mostly as “old man,” […] and is played with dignified but forlorn solemnity by Akylbek Abdykalykov […] One night, he loads an ancient shotgun and sets out on his rickety motorcycle […] to kill the businessman who took his family. But an accident occurs, and he hits a young woman (Dina Jakob) mysteriously wandering about in the scrubland at night. The old man brings her prone form back to his house, and tends to her wounds […].

The “old man transfigured by a beautiful, mostly mute young female” theme is a thoroughly exhausted one. But Birnazarov and Nurifa Umuralieva’s screenplay, adapted from a short story by local writer Talip Ibraimov, avoids the staleness of that scenario by paying due attention to the woman as well as the man.

Jessica Kiang, Variety

  • Orig. title: Tunku Kyrsyk
  • Language: Kyrgyz
  • Subtitles: English
  • Distribution: National film-studio Kyrgyzfilm
  • Cinematography: Kabyljan Khamidov
  • Editing: Ziregul Kubandyk Kyzy, Kulchoro Sydykov