The Needle | Die Nadel
After a long stay in Moscow, Moro, a student from Kazakhstan, returns to his hometown Alma-Ata for the first time. Once he arrives, he realised that many things have changed, and not for the good. A close friend of his from the past, Dina, seems to be under the influence of forces beyond his control. Moro soon recognises that Dina has become a junkie, with a coolly calculating doctor keeping her within the fatal spiral of addiction. Moro kidnaps his friend and starts the withdrawal process with her on the desert-like shores of Lake Aral, which has already half dried up. He also starts a battle against the drugs mafia in Alma-Ata. But after some initial success, he is no match for the superior resources at the Mafia’s disposal. Moro’s rebellion ends in a heroic, yet unequal showdown.

by Raschid Nugmanow
with Wiktor Zoi, Marina Smirnowa, Pjotr Mamonow
USSR 1988 82’ recommendation: 16 years and up