The Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Romania together with its main partner, KMG International presents for three days the second edition of the Kazakh Film Festival in Bucharest in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the country’s independence.
Following the success of the first edition organized in November 2015, held in honor of the 550th anniversary of the Kazakh Khanate, this year’s edition offers the Romanian audience a selection of titles from top‑tier Kazakh directors, which reflect the culture and history of the strong nation.
The Voice of the Steppe (2014)
The Festival kicks off today at Cinema Elvire Popesco, 77 Dacia Blvd. Sector 1, Bucharest at 20:30 hrs with the screening of the drama “The Voice of the Steppe” (2014) co-directed by Gerard Depardieu and Yermek Shinarbayev.
A little boy Anatole lives in 1960s in the steppe of Kazakhstan with his archeologists parents. One day, he witnesses the accidental death of his brother; this drama traumatizes the boy so much that he loses his ability to speak.
Later, he meets an old Kazakh who teaches him to truly listen to the world around him and eventually teaches him how to speak again. Anatole’s whole life now depends on his ability to her. His ears connect him to the world. 50 year later, the steppe calls him back.
Screenplay: Vincent Ravalec; Starring: Gerard Depardieu, Berik Aitzhanov, Natalie Dessay; Running time: 90 minutes.
So the Stars Aligned (2016)
The British writer Jeremy Wilson is seeking a meeting with the First President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, to write his biography. However, a scheduled interview, turns into a long and exciting journey for both the journalist and the Head of State through the history of the young independent state.
The President and journalist move from the steppe to snow-capped mountains, from a sky-scraper to a yurt, from 2015 to 1950, 1989, 1982 and 1991. Every place on the map of the country is a page in the biography of the President. The journalist becomes witness and participant in the events, while Nursultan Nazarbayev recalls his part.
Director: Sergey Snezhkin; Screenplay : Sergey Snezhkin; Genre: Historical Drama; Starring: Berik Aitzhanov, Hugh Fraser, Altynai Nogerbek, Igor Ugolnikov, Sergey Garmash, Daria Moroz, Aleksei Guskov, Karlygash Muhametzhanova; Running time: 188 minutes (4 parts)-only two parts will be shown amounting to 90 minutes.
The movie will be screened on September 30, at 18:30 hrs at Cinema Elvire Popesco.
The Gift to Stalin (2008)
Set in 1949, the film tells the story of an eight-year old Jewish boy, Sasha (photo), who is deported to Kazakhstan with his elderly grandfather. After the death of his grandfather and only by coincidence, Sasha is rescued by an old Kazakh railroad worker, Kasym. The man restores Sasha’s strength, gives his a different name and moves to him to a dusty village on the fringes of the Kazakh steppe.
After seeing a newspaper story about a nationwide contest to find the perfect birthday present for Joseph Stalin, Sasha decides to participate with the hope of meeting Stalin and asking him to allow him to see his parents again—he doesn’t realize, however, that they are no longer alive.
Director: Rustem Abdrashev; Screenplay: Pavel Finn; Genre: Drama; Starring: Nurjuman Ikhtimbayev, Dalen Shintemirov, Yekaterina rednikova, Bakhtiar Khoja.
Running time: 97 minutes. The movie will be screened Friday, September 30, at 20: 30 hrs at Cinema Elvire Popesco.
The Old Man (2012)
The Old Man is an engaging Kazakh interpretation of Ernest Hemingway’s novel “The Old Man and the Sea”. The film’s main character is an old shepherd living with his daughter and grandson in a remote village on the fringes of the Kazakh steppe. The old man—an avid football fan who names his sheep after famous football players as Maradona—has a somewhat strained relationship with his grandson, who is disinterested in old customs and traditions. Yet this situation changes when the old shepherd is caught in a blizzard and must face the battle of his life against a pack of wolves, blood-thirsty and enraged by the attack of nearby huntsmen.
Director: Ermek Tursunov; Genre: Drama; Starring: Erbolat Toguzakov, Orynbek Moldohan, Isbek Abilmazhinov;
Running time: 102 minutes. The screening will take place on Saturday, October 1st, at 16:30 hrs at Cinema Elvire Popesco.
The film tells the story of the fate of Kunanbai Oskenbayuly, who was born in 1804 in the village of Shyngystau, Semipalatinsk region. He was a fair judge, whose son Abai became famous for his poems.
It is known that Kunanbai had to deal with disagreements between relatives, who did not want to come to terms with his decisions on disputes.
Kunanbai’s little son Ibrahim did not always understand how hard it is for his father to make decisions. Only years later, the great philosopher Ibrahim, who remained in history as Abai, began to understand his father.
Director: Doskhan Zholzhakysnov; Screenplay: Doskhan Zholzhakysnov, Talasbek Asemkulov; Genre: Drama; Starring: Doskhan Zholzhakysnov, Nursifat Salykova, Alibi Syraily, Aidos Bektemirov, Maira Omar, Karagoz Suleimenova.
Running time: 90 minutes. The film will be screened on Saturday October 1st, at 18:30 hrs, at Cinema Elvire Popesco.