Capital

NEW DOCS

In the middle of the Central Asian steppe sits Astana, the brand new capital of Kazakhstan. As the city celebrates its tenth anniversary, we see vignettes of life in a place that is growing and changing at a mind-boggling pace. Colorful and catty tour guides, a television news crew, and a pair of construction foremen are our companions as we traverse the city, watching monuments rise and celebrations take place, all under the seemingly ever-present eye of president-for-life Nursultan Nazarbayev. The film is fascinating and offbeat, and questions the way the mixed cultures of migrants to Astana are melded and refashioned in the service of an ultra-modern utopia. In one scene, a group of painters are hired to sit in the city center and create “an artistic atmosphere” while a rainstorm blows away their canvases. As one artist puts it: “Culture isn’t a flowerbed that you can just replant.”  AK

Director

Maxim Pozdorovkin

Producer

Maxim Pozdorovkin, Joe Bender

Editor

Maxim Pozdorovkin, Joe Bender

Cinematographer

Joe Bender

Release Year

2010

Festival Year

2010

Country

United States, Russia, Kazakhstan

Run Time

72 minutes

Premiere

World Premiere