Man Follows Birds | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Man Follows Birds 

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Noticing a sign of spring in the mountains and bursting with the enthusiasm of early adolescence, a boy in rural Uzbekistan awakes his sleeping neighbors by shouting "The almonds are blooming!" and receives a brutal beating from the men of the village. His mother is long dead, and his severely alcoholic father soon joins her, expiring with the d.t.'s after the boy refuses him a drink. After the neighbors loot his home, the orphan sets out with his best friend on a Huck Finn-like odyssey across the countryside. Ali Khamraev's delirious narrative and lush imagery capture the boys' wide-eyed wonder: landscapes, flowers, faces, and the bandit brutality of the tribesmen they encounter all seem larger-than-life (1975). Also known as The Man Who Loves the Birds and Chasing the Birds. Dubbed into Russian from Uzbek with subtitles. 91 min. Gene Siskel Film Center.

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