The Light Thief review

Set in the post-Soviet Kyrgyz Republic, a country in economic chaos following the collapse of its industrial economy, The Light Thief is a slight but affecting fable about goodness and compassion in the face of encroaching darkness. The story takes place in a small village, the inhabitants of the town live in crushing poverty.

Local electrical Svet-ake (writer/director Kubat) has been aiding the poorest in the town by rigging their electricity meters giving them free power. An innocent soul, Svet-ake takes no compensation for this, although his wife worries about the consequences if he is caught. Svet-ake has a dream of supplying the village through wind power. This dream is exploited by a rising local politician/gangster who needs his skills as an electrician.

The Light Thief is a film so delicate it practically floats on air. Led by a winning performance from Kubat who has an immensely likeable screen presence, the film sets itself up as a parable of good and evil. Cinematographer Hassan Kydyraliyev captures the Krygyz landscape and the harsh reality of living there vividly.

This is a charming but slight film that will please an art house audience. It is full of terrific incidental details, but ultimately I found it a little to enigmatic to really connect.

Official Site
The Light Thief at IMDb

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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