Tulpan (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes

Tulpan (2009)



Critic Consensus: Kazakh sheep herders get their cinematic due in this lovely, unsentimental debut from director Sergei Dvortsevoy.

Movie Info

Big ears can be a real problem. Asa, our hero, never thought about it until he considered the idea of marriage.more
Rating: G
Genre: Drama, Art House & International, Comedy
Directed By: , ,
Written By: Sergei Dvortsevoy, Gennadiy Ostrovskiy, Gennadi Ostrovsky, Sergey Dvortsevoy
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 22, 2009
Zeitgeist Films - Official Site


Amangeldi Nurzhanbay...
as Tulpan's Father
Tazhyban Khalykulova
as Tulpan's Mother
Esentai Tulendiev
as Veterinarian
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Tulpan

Critic Reviews for Tulpan

All Critics (71) | Top Critics (25)

Dvortsevoy exhibits the storytelling composure and technical proficiency of a veteran, while his keen eye for a pastoral poetic flourish places 'Tulpan' firmly among the year's most endearing cinematic experiences.

Full Review… | November 13, 2009
Time Out
Top Critic

A coming-of-age story that also examines the pull and push of the modern and traditional, Tulpan is a striking, unique, narrative feature debut for director-writer Sergei Dvortsevoy.

Full Review… | July 17, 2009
Detroit News
Top Critic

The latest import from the steppes of the former Soviet empire is Tulpan, a bittersweet slice of life with a sweet center.

Full Review… | July 3, 2009
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

If you surrender to its pace, Tulpan can be intoxicating; it's like nothing else in theaters.

Full Review… | June 26, 2009
Seattle Times
Top Critic

All those tornadoes, mischievous kids, live sheep births and mating donkeys accidentally caught on film only make "Tulpan" more wondrous to behold.

Full Review… | October 7, 2015
Critic's Notebook

But in addition to the brutality of Tulpan's environment, and its merciless impress on the inhabitants, the film succeeds foremost, most surprisingly, as comedy. The trials and tribulations of Asa are worthy of Samuel Beckett.

Full Review… | June 17, 2013
Film Comment Magazine

Audience Reviews for Tulpan


Dvortsevoy blurs the line between fiction and reality as he offers us an unforgettable peek at an almost alien universe, displaying a remarkable control of his shaky camera and capturing some incredible fortuitous shots against the barren, ruthless sight of the Kazakhstan steppe.

Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic]In "Tulpan," Asa(Askhat Kuchinchirekov) is home from the navy and is seeking a wife, so he can get a flock of his own from his brother-in-law Ondas(Ondasyn Besikbasov) who feels that a herdsman cannot survive without a wife to take care of the domestic duties that are required, not to mention the whole business of having children and raising a family. At the same time, the sheep are having no problem getting pregnant, but are having a great deal of difficulty giving birth to live offspring which endangers the livelihood of the shepherds living on the desolate Kazakh steppe who have never seen an ocean, much less a body of water. So, when Tulpan rejects Asa as a husband, it is not because of physical appearance, it is because of what kind of husband he would make and what kind of future they would have together. Along those same lines, Asa is considering moving to the city with his pal Boni(Tulepbergen Baisakalov).[/font]

[font=Century Gothic]If only the story had been stronger and photography had been better, "Tulpan" might have been truly something. Handheld photography is meant for intimacy and works best inside, whereas here the terrain should have been one of the central points of interest. As it is, it is a fairly interesting look at a different way of life.[/font]

Walter M.

Super Reviewer


An interesting tale of the true Kazakstan..in other words the non Borat version. After being taken with the intriguing people of the Steppe, the film drifts slightly and is inconsistent. Attention span alert for those easily distracted..give it a skip.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

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