Uzbekistan in 2006: the population is being continually watched by a closely-knit system of secret services and informers. Since 1991, the former Socialist Republic has been independent of the Russians, who did help the dictator Islam Karimov seize power.
Achat and Tarsun grow up together; both start a family and build up their own family circus. They also both join the opposition party ERK - ‘freedom’ in Uzbeki. Achat develops into a real campaigner, Tarsun becomes more of an administrator. A year after Uzbekistan’s independence all opposition parties are banned, including the ERK. Tarsun remains active in the party, but Achat joins a human rights organisation. Then Tarsun receives the ultimate warning to stop his illegal activities. His resistance is broken. Achat goes on, but he will be harshly confronted with the consequences of his choice.
Between Heaven and Earth is a layered, fascinating documentary that primarily makes it clear how political choices influence life deeply. Both men accept in their own way the consequences of their choices for themselves, for their friends and for their families. In addition, we can also enjoy spectacular shots of circus acts. With a great feeling for detail and proportion, the makers sketch a portrait of two friends, but also of the country and its folkloristic traditions. (JJ)

International title
Between Heaven and Earth
Filmmaker
Frank van den Engel, Masja Novikova
Premiere
World premiere
Country
Netherlands
Year
2007
Medium
HDcam
Length
70’
Language
Uzbek, Russian
Producer
Jorinde Soree
Production Company
Zeppers Film & TV
Sales
Zeppers Film & TV
Writer
Frank van den Engel
Cinematography
Melle van Essen
Editor
Stefan Kamp
Sound Design
Pieter Guyt
Music
Hans Helewouts
Cast
Tarsun Ali Mamadzhonov & family, Achat Nabiev & family
Website
http://zeppers.nl/nl/filmnl/tussen-hemel-en-aarde