Martin Saxer, Marlen Elders, Daler Kaziev, Germany, 2019, 81'
International Premiere
Tue. 13.8.2019, 11h00, La Sala
Wed. 14.8.2019, 18h30, L'altra Sala

en / it / de / fr

A dry, desert-like and ice-cold landscape on an Asian plateau: Only small, stunted shrubs grow here, and they dry out completely in winter. A group of men is busy digging up these meagre bushes and tie them together in large bundles. The teresken bushes are the only local source of heating energy for the residents of the small town of Murghab, 3,600 metres above sea level.

In the former Soviet Union, the small town near the borders with Afghanistan and China was important because of its strategic location. Today, Murghab belongs to Tajikistan and has become a forgotten place in a dry valley. The airport is deserted, and the inhabitants tell us that in Soviet times, they had central heating and electricity and all necessary goods delivered to them. Not much is left of that infrastructure. Now, dried teresken bushes serve as heating medium in the bitter cold winter, and electricity is supplied by generators, for example for the local scrap dealer and felt manufacturer.

Yet the residents have not become bitter. They live their lives with serenity and improvisation skills. And although the rest of the world may have forgotten the people of Murghab, they themselves are everything but unworldly. The film Murghab is a beautiful and meticulous portrait of this small town 3,600 meters above sea level and its remarkably friendly and serene inhabitants.

Brigitte Häring