Documentary equal to Cinema Paradiso
Phillip Duncan | 02/21/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The Stars Caravan is an amazing documentary that offers not only a fascinating look into a post communist society, but it also presents a powerful portrait on the power of film.It's the story of a traveling projectionist that used to deliver the movies to the gypsy and nomadic tribes in Kyrgyzstan. It was an honor for him to provide their only look at the outside world and in turn he was treated like royalty. Families fought over whom he would stay with and he was an honored guest anytime he came.With the fall of the Soviet Republic came the end of the government funded film program-and the propaganda films that were show-and he was left working on a modest budget. When funding ran out he is forced to show films to small groups on third rate VCRs and TVs.Through it all he clearly loves the world of cinema and the escape and treatment it provided him in his life. He longs for a return to the communist ways in order to receive funding again, but readily admits that things are better now in many other areas of life. It's a touching look at real life story that shows the magic that movies can have just as Giuseppe Tornatore's Cinema Paradiso romantically portrays such a love.With that said, the film is not perfect. The editing is confusing at times. In the beginning of the film present day film footage is inter-cut with documentary footage and old footage. It makes for a hard story to follow until you learn who all the characters are. Likewise, interesting areas are never explored or commented on. The main projectionist has a massive hole and stitches in his stomach. During the film he visits the doctor and his wife, but nothing is ever explained about his ailment. A personal connection to the character would have made the film perfect."
Interesting but so-so
Paul A. Spangler | 05/27/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"It is always great to get a snapshot of lives lived in faraway places and I love this man's resolve to keep up the movie business but this dvd is only so-so."