The Light Thief Review

Image for The Light Thief

A series of episodes come together to weave the story of a battle between an electrician and a local developer.


Set under the wide blue skies and windswept valleys of Kyrgyzstan, Aktan Arym Kubat’s ambient political parable follows the fate of a humble village electrician forced into a literal power struggle with a local developer. Well, eventually anyway. Kubat’s approach to storytelling is peculiar to say the least: it’s almost totally intuitive, with the plot slowly emerging from a series of documentary-like episodes capturing the fading traditions of life in Kyrgyzstan. With its goat-grabbing contests and festive yurt building, it’s a weirdly enchanting, otherworldly experience, bolstered by Kubat’s own quietly smiling performance. Ultimately, it’s too idyllic to deliver any dramatic punch — the real lasting impact lies in its soulful vision of a culture fighting to retain its values as the modern world closes in.

The slow and unusual narrative lacks real drama but provides a compelling and beautiful depiction of village life.