23rd Annual Minneapolis - St. Paul International Film Festival

Alias Kurban Saïd (Non-fiction Features)
2004 - The Netherlands - 80 min

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DIRECTOR: Jos De Putter
CAST: Alex Booy,Clara van Gool, Bruno Ganz

“Orientalism” is back in fashion, even if its latest variation crept in through the back fence at a ranch in Crawford, Texas. But the “Orientalism” in this fascinating new work by Dutch documentarist Jos de Putter, brings back a half-forgotten personal history of major turning points in revolutions and upheavals from pre-Stalin Russia to Hitler and Mussolini’s Europe through the character of one “Kurban Said” . This is the alias of a mysterious refugee writer (1905-1942) , who in 1937 penned an immediate literary cult sensation Ali and Nino, about a young, aristocratic Moslem and a beautiful, enigmatic Christian girl. The true identity of the author and how the onetime best-seller came about is an intriguing literary detective story that goes from oil-rich Åzerbaijan in the early decades of the century to Persia and the Ottoman glories of Constantinople. Amid heated debate among claimants as heirs of Kurban Said , this lively cultural-historical travelog also becomes an engagement into the question of personal identity and how we interpret history. The most tantalizing fact of all is that “Kurban Said” was Lev Nussimbaum, a Jew who transformed himself into a Muslim prince and became a best-selling author in Nazi Germany after escaping the Russian Revolution in a camel caravan. Jos de Putter has won awards including the Prize of the City of Utrecht for best debut film (IT'S BEEN A LOVELY DAY, 1993), the Joris Ivens prize at the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (SOLO, THE FAVELA'S LAW, 1994), the Jury Prize at the Tehran Film Festival (NAGASAKI STORIES, 1996), the L.J. Jordaan Prize (THE MAKING OF A NEW EMPIRE, 1999), and the Dance Screen Festival Prize (ZIKR, 1999). Al Milgrom

PRODUCER: Frank van den Engel
EDITOR: Patrick Minks
MUSIC: Paul M. van Brugge
PRINT SOURCE: Ideale Audience

Wednesday, April 06 9:30pm McNally Smith Auditorium
Thursday, April 07 5:15pm 12
Friday, April 08 9:45pm McNally Smith Auditorium

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