In Rukus, people detach. They place layers of abstraction between what they feel and how they would like to be seen. It’s a necessary mechanism that’s inherent to all communication. As with the thick, matted, colorful hair that covers the faces of the furries at the heart of Rukus, distortion and obfuscation can sometimes be what helps us speak at all.
Chingiz Aytmatov’s Jamila is a novel that finds the titular character falling in love with a man named Daniyar as her husband Sadyk is away at war. In reading Sadyk's letters, we come to understand that he views his wife as lesser than her, as a piece of property that he owns. For Jamila, she understands that loving someone other than her husband would be deemed immoral by the village, so she initially asks to avoid working on the same threshing floor as Daniyar. But by the end of the story, Jamila commits to her love for Daniyar and runs away with him. Director Aminatou Echard utilizes this famous book as a starting point for interviews with numerous women living in Kyrgyzstan. In allowing such honest discussion to take place, Echard presents an honest depiction of what it's like to be a woman living in Kyrgyzstan.
Dawson City: Frozen Time chronicles the history of the titular town during and after its status as the epicenter of the Klondike gold rush. The film does this in order to set up the remarkable discovery of 533 nitrate film reels that were stored in an athletic center's indoor swimming pool. To explain all this, Bill Morrison constantly overlays text on photographs and film clips. For those who have seen Morrison's previous features, the abundance of text is a bit alarming. At first, there is a sense that this is perhaps an unwise decision—does Morrison not have faith in the power of the images on display? And surely it would've been more appropriate to use intertitles? But as the film progresses, it's clear that this is the only possibly way that Morrison could have told the full story.