THE LIGHT THIEF (SVET-AKE)
CWC D: Aktan Arym Kubat w/ Kubat, Askat Sulaimanov. Kyrgyzstan/Germany/France/Netherlands. 80 min. Sep 10, 6 pm AMC 4; Sep 11, 9:30 am AMC 3 Rating: NNNNN In a remote Kyrgyzstani village, an amateur electrician known as Mr. Light (writer/director Kubat) spends his days tweaking the townsfolk’s meters to keep energy costs down and building windmills to get his neighbours off the grid. It’s your basic scruffy-dreamer set-up, presented with unaffected realism, and Kubat is a pleasant enough screen presence as the cheerful hero.
Everything proceeds more or less as one would expect, as the script contrasts the locals’ DIY resourcefulness against the rapacious greed of the outsiders. But the movie’s allegory gets uncomfortably strident once Mr. Light falls in with a local fixer (Sulaimanov) who’s buying up land around town in hopes of flipping it to foreign investors, and the last reel stretches the premise a little further than it wants to go.