Cleveland International Film Festival } April 7 – April 18, 2021 } Playhouse Square

THE STOWAWAY
(De Verstekeling)

 

Year: 1997
Country: Netherlands/Uzbekistan
Run Time: 87 minutes

The quiet man found hiding in a freighter anchored in Amsterdam harbor speaks no language known to the dockhands or their bosses. His origin is literally a world away: a "fishing" village called Muynak in the region of Karakalpakstan on the shores of Lake Aral. But great Aral has been drained by prolonged doubt and incautious land-management techniques to irrigate the cotton crops of Central Asia. Muynak is now a desert town, its once proud nautical fleet perched absurdly on top of endless sand dunes. Orazbai (for that is his name) is the educated son of one cruelly becalmed mariner. While his father toiled stubbornly to keep a stranded boat shipshape, Orazbai lamented, "Something has to change . . . I want another life." Lured by an advertising layout to the fabled West (which he had hoped would be Manhattan), Orazbai ends up in Holland - a fish out of water in a place that has too much water. Sheltered by a sailor's friendly (but unhappy) family, Orazbai adapts to his new life, and Muynak remains far away. Or does it? Like its hero, THE STOWAWAY is placid on the surface, but dive deeper and you'll find a turbulence of emotional currents and tides of fate. By the time the film reaches its miraculous ending, you'll feel like you've truly crossed oceans of longing and wonder. (In Dutch and Uzbek with English subtitles)

Screenplay
Bert Bisperink, Ben van Lieshout

Director
Ben van Leishout

Producer
Ivan Mudrinic

Cinematography
Stef Tidjink

Editing
Rene Wiegemans

Principal Cast
Bekzod Mukhamadkarimov, Ariane Schluter, Dirk Roofthoot, Rick van Gastel, Sjamoerat Octemratov.

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