Native Dancer starts as a fairy tale. A fairy tale about the natural healer ('baksy') Aidai, who uses incantations and mysterious actions to make the lame walk and to give infertile couples children.
Guka Omarova previously came to Rotterdam with Schizo and based her second film on a real baksy who lives 70 km outside the capital Almaty and receives people from all over the country. She regards Native Dancer as a sequel to her first film: the illegal fights have made way for the equally grey trade in petrol and casinos.
For her second film, she again works with the famous Russian director Sergei Bodrov Sr. In Native Dancer, the film makers pose the question of whether there is still room for the supernatural in today's modern world. In Kazakhstan, a hostile and empty country bordering on China and Russia, the rules are determined by those with the most land, the largest car or the best connections. No one has their doubts about Aidai's special powers, but she seems to lose out in the battle between age-old traditions and modern crooks.
Omarova shows that there is more than money and power and packages the battle between good and evil in a delightful Kazakh mood with neon-coloured table ornaments, Kazakh pop music, gangsters with guns, ghosts in the night and incantations. Native Dancer is supported by the Hubert Bals Fund. (LC)