The First Teacher
BAMPFA Collection Print
Bolot Beishenaliev, Natalia Arinbasarova, Idris Nogaibayev, D. Kouioukova,
Andrei Konchalovsky’s debut feature is “expressed with a deft simplicity of style and rare quality of emotion” (Michel Ciment). The First Teacher spares no illusions in showing the hardships and hostility encountered by a former Red Army soldier in a rural Central Asian locale (today’s Kyrgyzstan), where he is sent to teach. Although he himself is not well educated, his strength is his belief in the new order. Cinematographer Georgi Rerberg (who also worked with Andrei Tarkovsky, among others) films the remote location and cast of many nonprofessional actors with an extraordinary eye for detail. This astonishingly beautiful film deserves to be better known.