The Flight of the Bee

Movie budgets go further in Tajikistan than in Hollywood: this tale of bureaucratic corruption and the evils of private property (1998, 90 min.) was made for $50,000. A schoolteacher's wealthy neighbor installs a smelly latrine next to the teacher's house, but the public prosecutor tells the complainant that an owner can do whatever he wants with his property. Obsessed to the point of madness, the teacher buys the land next to the neighbor's house and digs an even bigger latrine. Directors Jamshed Usmonov and Min Biong-Hun are competent storytellers, but for want of cinematic flair this extravagant postcommunist parable never quite comes alive. With Orzu Sharipov's Live Containers (2003). Both in Tajik with subtitles.

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