An expansive journey through the Kazakh steppe, On A Clear Day You Can See the Revolution From Here excavates layers of myth, history and geology to reveal the shifting fault lines between a government, its people and their land.
The film brings into focus Kazakhstan's search for a post-Soviet identity and a state-sponsored programme of cultural production that on the one hand connects back to the ancient folklore and belief systems of the Silk Road, while on the other, seeks to embrace the values of Western capitalism. Taking an experimental documentary form, On A Clear Day provides a meditative faux observational film about the continual process of construction involved in nationhood and national identity. Shot on 16mm, the camera is drawn across the terrain of Eastern Kazakhstan through a series of encounters that offer a translation of a reality within the challenging social and political context of Kazakhstan. The Kazakh steppe creates a rhythm for the film as the vast terrain forms the conditions for each encounter with locations including the Bogatyr open quarry, Semipalatinsk nuclear test site, Ekibastuz generating station and the newly constructed city of Nur-Sultan. De-literalised through the use of constructed as well as un-orchestrated scenes; the film attempts to apprehend truths. Its facts, however, are always based on fictions - the ancient myths and folklore of Kazakhstan itself.