In Conversation Assaulting the Strongman: The Cinema of Adilkhan Yerzhanov
Following the crime-filled, devious satires of his previous films, Kazakh filmmaker Adilkhan Yerzhanov returns this year with two new thrillers: Assault and Goliath. Presented at Rotterdam and Venice earlier this year, gun-toting, star-crossed heroes and villains continue to bring to the fore masculine authoritarianism with Yerzhanov’s special brand of deadpan humour. Between long, awkward silences and rapid gunfire, his anticlimatic depictions of maleness, funny as they are devastating, have long hinted at deconstructions of politics and power in Central Asia.
In this conversation with Yerzhanov, we discuss his filmic assault upon the political ‘strongman’. Are power structures fated to be intertwined with the masculine? How does this trickle into filmmaking? And what stories remain to b