In the 1920s, an insular Muslim village near Tashkent is torn apart by the conflicting demands of feudal tradition and communism. The issue of whether or not the women should discard their yashmaks (veils) becomes an ideological flashpoint when a girl who bravely drops hers is murdered. Screenwriter Andrei Konchalovsky (Shy People) and director Ali Khamraev lend a human face to the controversy by having the main character, a native Red Army officer, rhetorically weigh the pros and cons. Though the narrative is jumbled and the denouement abrupt, this minimalist, montage-heavy film from Uzbekistan (1972) has an elemental allure rooted in the locations. In Russian with subtitles.
NR • 1 hour 36 min