37 Uses For A Dead Sheep (4 stars)

37 Uses For A Dead Sheep

(E) 84min

For the last three decades the Pamir Kirghiz have lived in exile in Turkey. In 2005, British filmmaker Ben Hopkins (Simon Magus, The Nine Lives of Tomas Katz) and a film crew arrived in their village and asked the diaspora to tell their story. The resultant film using the revealing interviews is divided into chapters and uses a variety of genres (dramatic reconstruction, mockumentary etc) to tell how the Pamir Kirghiz antipathy to communism saw them driven half way across the globe.

Hopkins’ pioneering, artistically brave and occasionally foolhardy film never really got the recognition it deserved when it got a brief cinema release and television screening a few years ago. Hopkins’ willingness to break documentary rules of forms, function and representation predated and possibly even influenced everything from Nanette Burstein’s 2008 documentary American Teen and popular reality TV show The Hills. Good extras include 40 minute documentary Footprints, an interview with Hopkins and a trailer for his next film The Market.

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