The youngest heroes of our small program are the Iranian kids with their childishly desperate belief in the miracle. They were so persuasive in Khorshid that the experienced filmmaker Majid Majidi collected the prize for the best acting debut at the  Venice Film Festival which miraculously took place in 2020. The ones that are older, while away their time on the dirty stairs of ramshackle buildings in Alma-Ata, their youth coincided with the very beginning of the restless, scary, unpredictable 1990s. In the movies 18 kHz  the Kazakh director Farkhad Sharipov, the winner of the 2019 MIFF, stares into his own past without a shade of nostalgia or tenderness. His work deserved the top prize at last year’s Warsaw IFF. The main character in Honey Cigar is the complete opposite of her friends, Kazakh youths who seem to be locked in time. She is ready to rise against her wealthy parents and choose her own path in life. This movie by the debutant Karim Aïnouz, starring Zoe Adjani who is making her first steps in arts. It was also in Venice that another character presented himself to the world. The protagonist of the movie by Bruce La Bruce, one of the most outrageous directors of today, derives so much pleasure from his own beauty and youth that his narcissism becomes almost mythological. 
Asia Kolodizhner 
The Festival Daily