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DVD SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE:
- 16:9 anamorphic presentation, enhanced for widescreen televisions
- Theatrical trailer
- Interview with director Sergey Dvortsevoy, from Cinema Scope magazine
Top Customer Reviews
Celebrated Kazakh documentary filmmaker Sergey Dvorsevoy won the Prix Un Certain Regard at Cannes for this, his first dramatic feature. Astonishing in its simplicity and for its intimate depiction of rural life, the film is also surprisingly funny - a simple humor that is far removed from that of the more popular but utterly false portrayal of Kazakhstan in Borat.
The performances, mostly by individuals who had never acted before, are astonishingly genuine. It's hard to believe they are playing a role, and that this is not a documentary. Even more stunning is the authenticity of the scenes. There is, obviously, no CGI here, and nothing is fake, but through patience Dvortsevoy was able to capture some surprising and exciting moments - a twister that appears suddenly in the midst of a confrontation between two characters, an angry camel mother attacking the vet who cares for her son, a sheep giving birth and a genuine performance of Asa's surprise and wonder and helplessness, all in a single take without cuts. Lovers of great films should celebrate this deceptively simple and lovely film.
Asa returns from naval service and has expansive dreams of a free and prosperous life on the Kazakh steppe. For them to come true, his brother-in-law must give him a starter herd, he must find a wife in a desert devoid of humans, and he must earn his stripes as a herder. Asa is impatient, does not fit in, and seems powerless to realize his dreams. When he is pushed to the brink, ready to give up on his dream, he has a transforming experience of life and rebirth. (As reviewed in Russian Life)
Dvortsevoy films with a patient eye (Tulpan took four years to film), turning the gritty landscape into a character in the film, helping to convey the utter isolation (but not hopelessness) of life on the barren steppe. This is a quixotic and delightful tale of self-discovery that offers a vivid look at what life is like in this secluded corner of the world.
Young Asa has recently returned home from his service in the Navy. He comes from a family of hard-scrabble sheep herders on the Steppes of Kazakhstan. He is a vibrant, easy-going and slightly dimwitted young man. His burning desire is to have his own herd, but this will not be granted to him until he marries. There is pretty much only one eligible young lady in his sparsely populated corner of the world, and even though he has never even seen this girl (named Tulpan), because she holds the key to his happiness, he feels he is in love with her. She declines his offer, ostensibly because she doesn't like his big ears. The real reason may be that she wants a life in the city, perhaps with an education. Asa loves the harsh land that has been his only home, and he yearns to own his own way there. You have no doubt that he would treat this girl well and give her a "traditionally happy" life...because he clearly has no malicious bone in his body.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It is a "slow motion" film, but very well balanced, real pleasure to attend, time well spent. Read morePublished on August 5, 2013 by Anna Dobretsova
the cinematography is beautiful; stark landscapes and traditional dwellings juxtaposed with contemporary kitsch. Read morePublished on July 30, 2013 by jmf
I found this film interesting, mostly for the view of the life of a family of shepherds on the Steppes of Kazakhstan. Read morePublished on December 28, 2012 by Promise
I think what's most marvelous about Tulpan is how it communicates hope, even when life is hard and disappointing. Read morePublished on December 19, 2012 by pestolover
Every now and then, you can find a foreign film that is pure original, unique with its cultural difference, a departure from the normal. Read morePublished on August 2, 2012 by Amazon Customer
The Russian filmmaker Sergey Dvortsevoy had gained a reputation for documentaries, but in the 2008 TULPAN he tries his hand at fiction with this story set in Kazakhstan. Read morePublished on May 27, 2012 by Christopher Culver
I totally agree with most of the reviewers that loved the film, so I am not going to repeat all the praise. Read morePublished on February 10, 2012 by Theodoros Natsinas
This is a truly great film, a masterpiece to challenge Battleship Potemkin, Citizen Kane and The Lion King! Once you have seen this you will never be the same. Read morePublished on March 18, 2011 by kiwidoc
If you are looking for a regular genre film, this is not for you. This little gem does not conform to any kind of Hollywood narrative nor to do the actors conform to any accepted... Read morePublished on November 17, 2010 by Paul J. Hussey
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