Since we are going to talk about the adaptation of a literary work, I would like to explain what kinds of "cinematic reading" of the original source are. So, there are three types of film adaptations.
The first, one might say, is the most obvious – when the script and the film itself strictly follow the text of the work being screened. It is called "adaptation". In such films, we can often hear voiceover speech, and the dramatic basis of the film is unremarkable. Of course, such a film reading of a literary text has a bad effect on the level of cinematography of the picture. After all, cinema, first of all, should be based on its primary screen capabilities and the potential of the film language.
The next method of screening is transcription. In the case of transcription, the goal is to convey to the viewer the spirit of the original source, the style of the writer and the essence of the literary work. As we know, cinema is a synthetic art that has absorbed the features of many types of arts. And in the arrangement, the layer of a certain relationship between literature and cinema is taken as a basis, when the two arts should not exclude each other, but complement the features of each of them when interacting. That is, for the translation, the following is important – not to deprive the features of the literary basis, while supplementing the source being screened with cinematic means. In this form of adaptation, both literary text and cinema are equal. But it is worth noting that it is extremely difficult to find the right balance.
Now let's talk about the third type of film adaptation, which is directly related to our work. This is a new reading. Often in the opening credits of a film of this kind of adaptations, we can notice the following notes: "based on ...", "based on ...", "variations on ...". In other words, the director-author uses a literary work as material for his film. The author of the film production is free to do whatever he wants with this material: transform beyond recognition, use a certain storyline and develop it, introduce the main conflict of the literary source into modern realities, transfer the actions of the "original" to another country or time, while the basis is transformed to match another time or another culture.
The picture "Shot at Karash Pass" (1968, "Kazakhfilm") just the same, it is based on the eponymous work of the classic of Kazakh literature Mukhtar Auezov. The playwright Akim Tarazi and the director of the film, Bolot Shamshiev, worked on the transformation of the literary material. By the way, for Shamshiev's Swamp, the film is the debut as a director (Larisa Shepitko has already played a role in "Heat", by the way, and this picture is a free treatment of Aitmatov's source). When watching the debut film, we can already note for ourselves: what the focus of the Kyrgyz director's attention fell on in the transformation of the literary text are the main aspects in the formation of the director's style of Shamshiev's Swamp. The topics that he deepened, documenting the nomad's steppe life, details and psychological images of the main characters – all this is the property of the film.
In addition to the conflict between the two clans of Salmen and Zharasbai, it reveals to a greater extent the theme of class differences and political tricks and manipulations of the love of power of the Bais to seize Kazakh-Kyrgyz lands. Thus, the theme of the Motherland in the film adaptation develops much more widely. As noted by film critic Bauyrzhan Ramazanuly Nogerbek, "Kazakh criticism, first of all, drew attention to the significant transformation of Auezov's literary images, the expansion of the plot conflict beyond the lawsuits and feuds of the two clans of Zharasbai and Salmen, the emphasis on the socio-class motives of the story, a frank display of the sophisticated colonial policy of the Russian autocracy to seize new Kazakh lands" [1, p. 209].
It is necessary to emphasize once again that in this work there is no direct comparison of the original source with a cinematic work. We do not detract from the importance of either the first or the second, moreover, given that the film, like brushstrokes, used the original to create its own picture.
From the political games of Zharasbai and Salmen, both remain losers, but apart from their trampled pride, the people suffered a great loss, and throughout the film Shamshiev focuses on innocent people between the feuds, the theft of herds of horses, Swamps. He tries to document in detail the situation of the people who had to go through that difficult period in history. And this, of course, was facilitated by the operator's decision. The camera enlarges the faces of individual people from the people, as if memorizing their face of alienation, as well as sharp close-ups of the characters, in which the emotions and feelings of the characters, such as anger, annoyance, hatred, are revealed to the viewer. With these close-ups, the camera makes it clear to the viewer the nature of these emotions, and each hero has his own. In other words, anger and hatred, sadness and sadness of the same Zharasbai and Bakhtygul cause various events, since they are people of different fields of berries.
The director considered it superfluous to introduce monologues into the film, a narrative text that would reveal the essence of the characters. Instead of verbal overload, the camera exposes the heroes to us, pans the steppe, the life of the nomadic people with the lens. It should also be noted that the mass scenes of the people are accompanied by the song "Elim-ai", fascinating from the first sounds, it is the leitmotif of the fate of the people with a tragic past, a dramatic present and an unknown future. This creates a general atmosphere of steppe life.
Let's talk about the main characters: Bakhtygul the farmhand and Zharasbai the volost administrator. Bakhtygul is known in the steppes as a thief, a traitor, but he acts on the call of honor and justice. Zharasbai is a bai who considers himself a man of honor. But, in fact, he is driven by purely selfish intentions. With every word, gesture and decision he says, we see the true inside of the bai, and virtues for the people are just a mask, pretentiousness. Alas, but power reveals in a person his true content. That's why the psychological portrait of Zharasbai in the film is so complicated. This lies in the fact that the hero himself, for the time being, does not understand what he is, because power and ego have blinded him too. Let's recall the scene in Zharasbai's yurt, in which, in front of Bakhtygul, he orders his wife to take a silver ingot and give it to her mother, who lost her son due to a raid on Salmen's herd. Here is a close-up of the hand of bai's wife carrying a "fee" to the poor mother, "joktau" (a crying song) and the words of Bakhtygul "in truth there are no limits to his generosity and generosity" sound layered against the background, she unknowingly takes it in her palm and immediately drops it to the ground, behind the lowered hands of the grieving, occupying the frame space, the dead body of a young man is visible. To repay with a piece of metal – is this the price of the life of a young man who has become an innocent victim of Zharasbai's greed?
The relationship of Bai and his faithful companion. Bakhtygul sees in Zharasbai a friend, a tribesman, Zharasbai sells his freedom for the sake of his well-being, thereby exposing his true face to Bakhtygul. This betrayal is in the Auezov text. But the image of Zharasbai is complemented in the film by including one important conflict and working out the line of relations between Zharasbai and tolmach Tokpayev. Therefore, in the film, the peak of bai's meanness is not betrayal in front of Bakhtygul, but in front of the whole people (and the Aruaks). He sells the land on which his ancestors rest. Bolot Shamshiev is attentive to details that may contain emotional intensity. This is precisely stated by G. Abikeeva: "The episode of the transaction has been very strongly resolved: everyone comes to the tract where there is a kulpytas (a high vertical tombstone), and the governor, not finding anything suitable at hand, puts a piece of paper with a contract on a stone statue – the subject of prayers and sacrifices – and signs a contract on it. Moreover, it looks blasphemous how, when opening a bottle of champagne, they unwittingly pour it over kulpytas. In this context, the revenge of Bakhtygul Zharasbai is not only the revenge of man to man, it is the retribution of the people to their ruler, who could not protect either the people or the land" [2, pp. 67-68].
It's amazing how different the scenes of Zharasbai's murder by Bakhtygul are. Firstly, Zharasbai in the story takes tokal Kalysh from the Dosai family to his auyl. He is busy with his joy and imperceptibly becomes the target of Bakhtygul. "The handsome bai was complacently stroking his well-groomed beard, looking over the horse's ears, when Bakhtygul finally gently pulled the trigger, and a ragged hole appeared in the fox fur coat made of blue cloth, in the place where he had gone, and a transparent stream of bluish smoke rose above it. The horse reared up, and the rider fell backwards and flew out of the silver-trimmed saddle, opening the fur coat wide" [3, p. 187]. Buy remains buy in those very figurative facets of the class enemy. Secondly, the story does not end on this note. The literary work ends with a dialogue between father and son. Bakhtygul, being in the pit, gives a parting word to his son Seit, so that he learns, and with his truth he will reason with any biya-bai who begins to use his position.
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