This breathtakingly beautiful adaptation of a Kirghizian folktale is an invigorating experience. Like all good legends, it relates important historical events in the evolution of a culture, citing violations of sacred rules as the ultimate source of change.
The Snow Leopards are a tribe of hunters who inhabit the rugged terrain of the Kirghizian mountains. During one particularly violent winter, the entire tribe faces extinction unless help from the closest lowland tribe can be solicited. The tribe's most virile and capable hunter Koshoshash
(Kydralijev) volunteers to make the dangerous journey across the snow-buried path to the lowlands. Accompanied by Kassen (Chokubajev), Koshoshash barely manages to reach the other tribe which graciously gives him the needed horses--in return for a future favor.
Come spring, the lowland tribe requires that the Snow Leopards uphold their end of the bargain. The daughter of the tribe's leader is to marry a prince and trader from the south in a grand celebration that could make an easy target for attacking enemies. The Snow Leopards are asked to act as
guards against possible invasion. During the course of this festive occasion, events are set in motion which have a profound effect on the future of both tribes.
Director Okeyev received a Silver Bear for Outstanding Single Achievement at the 1985 Berlin Film Festival, a result of his subtle combination of intriguing characters and a multidimensional story against the stunning background of the mountainous terrain. THE DESCENDANT OF THE SNOW LEOPARD has
its basis in an actual Kirghizian folk legend, explaining the occasional lapses into heavy melodramatics. For the most part, however, the events are rendered in an engrossing, realistic fashion. Before books existed to retell history, people depended on folk legends passed via word of mouth from
village elders to captivated children. Viewing THE DESCENDANT OF THE SNOW LEOPARD has much the same effect.
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- Released: 1984
- Rating: NR
- Review: This breathtakingly beautiful adaptation of a Kirghizian folktale is an invigorating experience. Like all good legends, it relates important historical events in the evolution of a culture, citing violations of sacred rules as the ultimate source of change… (more)