Close Up

3 January 2018: I Remember You


I Remember You

Ali Khamraev
1985 | 92 min | Colour | 35mm

I Remember You follows protagonist Kim across the Soviet Union at the wishes of his dying mother to visit his father’s grave. Khamraev’s father died fighting the Germans in 1942 and I Remember You is based on a journey he made to the Smolensk region of Russia in 1973. Along the way, memories are triggered which take Kim back to his childhood, transporting him from modern Soviet Russia back to Samarkand, a beautiful Silk Road city containing sumptuous classical Muslim architecture. These surreal, Fellini-esque visions are triggered by sights and sounds, creating psychedelic shifts in time and space quite unexpectedly. When Kim hears someone on the train singing with a dutar – a traditional two-stringed Central Asian instrument – he meets and falls in love with Gulya, ably performed by Gulya Tashbaeva, Khamraev’s wife and featured player in several of his best films. After these refracted visions – from new wave mannequins who come to life to a group of young nude boys playing by a river –all come to pass, the film concludes with Khamraev himself walking out of the soundstage, closing the door on his most personal film.

Part of our programme on Ali Khamraev