TO GET TO HEAVEN FIRST YOU HAVE TO DIE
The story of a lithe, morose young Tajik man on a journey to restore his sexual potency. But the quirky, enticing premise of Djamshed Usmonov's latest film soon develops into something much more unsettling, speaking volumes about the cultural shifts occurring in Central Asia. The second feature from Usmonov is as nicely told, directed and performed as his first AN ANGLE ON THE RIGHT (02). It's a treat to find films like this coming out of a somewhat distant and lesser known country.
Djamshed Usmonov was born in Asht, Tajikistan in 1965 and studied at the Dushanbe Fine Arts School in Dushanbe. He worked as a writer, actor and director for Tajikfilm, and made the short film THE MAN (89) and the medium-length THE WELL (00), which took a decade to complete due to Tajikistan's civil war. In 1998, he co-directed his feature debut, FLIGHT OF THE BEE (98), with Min Biong-hun. His second feature, AN ANGEL ON THE RIGHT (02) was imported for theatrical distribution in Norway.