[BIFF WORLD] AURORA
Guaranteed to be acclaimed the wackiest film of this year’s Busan festival, Aurora is an oddball shaggy dog story from Kyrgyzstan that will entertain those comfortable strapping themselves in for a wild ride and throwing logic to the wind. Writer/Director Bekzat Pirmatov combines an adman’s eye for beautiful scenery with a Bunuelian sense of humour in this dazzling but baffling effort that may (or may not) harbour a secret allegory about post-colonial conditions in the former Soviet state. Set and shot in a former Sanatorium once used for rest and recreation by the upper eschelons of the Brehnev-era Soviet Union, Aurora tells the strange stories of various hotel guests as it offers intrigue and amusement. The film’s skit-like scenarios range from drug dealers who claim they were stoned for 34 years to bathing beauties discussing their favourite classical composers. The very late introduction of a plot revolving around a smartphone that bears a mysterious message in Chinese, attempts to give the film a structure that it probably could live without, but adds a few more welcome laughs into the mix. The opening credits take place 21 minutes after the film starts… it’s that kind of movie… but fun too.