Produced by Boris Airapetian.
Directed by Abai Karpykov. Screenplay, Leila Akhinzhanova, Boris Airapetian. Camera (color), Alexei Berkovich; editors, Tatiana Belousova, Svetlana Mayzova; music, Boris Beglar; production designer, Alexander Rorokin. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (market), Feb. 13, 2000. Running time: 89 MIN.
With: Farkhat Abdraimov, Kristina Orbakaite, Alexander Alexandrov, Dauren Sarsekeev.
Modestly engaging and subtly ironic, “Fara” centers on a cheerful, goodhearted, seriously fat young man who discovers his father is involved with the Mafia. Pic is potential fodder for Euro TV programmers, and may crop up on the margins of festivals in the coming months.
Pic opens in 1972, when the crippled Fara was trying to keep up with his friends and his influential father was pulling strings to get him medical help. In the present, Fara (Farkhat Abdraimov), now able to walk, is happy running a restaurant given him by his father, a former Communist Party official in Kazakhstan and, more recently, a millionaire bank owner — until the old man is murdered and Fara discovers his childhood friend is involved with the bad guys. Pic is not so much a thriller as a character study, with interesting glimpses of life in this former Soviet republic.