This is a story of a man who survived from gruesome dark ages. Only thing he has left is the memories of his childhood.
Kazakhstan in 1949, the times when the minorities were forced to move to Central Asia by former Soviet government, a Jewish kid named Sashka is on a train with his grandfather being deported with others. His grandfather dies on the train and he is dropped off with the body at a small village. He meets an old man, Kasym and stays with him. The village has various races and classes; nevertheless, all of them live in peace. But the tragedy is upon the village. Every villagers are killed and only Sashka survived.
The title, The Gift to Stalin has two significances. In 1949, Soviet government carried out a nuclear test for anniversary of Stalin’s 70th birthday. Many innocent people fell the victims to the nuclear test. It turned out that Stalin gave his gift of death to the people. The other significance is about Sashka’s dream. He has a hope that if he gives Stalin a gift, he will be able to meet his parents again. Through the relationship between Sashka and Kasym, Rustem Abdrashev is showing the value of trust and hope that never change even during the most violent and the darkest days. The Gift to Stalin is multi-nationally produced. It was filmed in Kazakhstan, and Russia, Poland, Israel participated in its production. (KIM Ji-Seok)
Pusan International Film Festival Opening film