Bibinur / Бибинур

Published: April 30, 2017

Bibinur (Бибинур; in Tatar the word means “carrying light”) is a 2009 drama film. It was made in Russia but is largely in Tatar, the language of the Russian Republic of Tatarstan. It was filmed in Algaevo (Алгаево), a village in Tatarstan. In 2011, the documentary Bibinur: The Film About the Film (Бибинур — фильм о фильме) was released.

The film takes place in a small Tatar village. It’s about an old woman, named Bibinur, who has a dream that she is about to die. When she wakes up, she realizes that she only have five days left to live. The film tells the story of these five days, but it’s about much more than that, too. A businessman who is planning to sell off the land in the village arrives and stays the night at Bibinur’s; she tells him her life story and in the process changes his life, as well, as he learns about his Tatar roots.

The film has both won a number of awards and has unusually good audience reviews, especially on KinoPoisk (which is like the Russian IMDB). It won the grand prize for best film at the 2010 Kazan International Festival of Muslim Film, as well as several other awards at festivals in France, the US, and Russia. Firdaus Akhtyamova (Фирдәвес Каюм кызы Әхтәмова in Tatar), who played the lead, won a best actress award. She is also a People’s Actress of the Tatar Republic.

The film was directed by Yuriy Feting (Юрий Фетинг), a Russian actor, director, and screenwriter whose short filmography has been showered with international prizes. His 2015 Celestial Camel (Небесный верблюд) has been particularly lauded.


Director: Yuriy Feting (Юрий Фетинг)
Stars: Firdaus Akhtyamova (Фирдәвес Каюм кызы Әхтәмова), Khalima Iskanderova (Халима Искандерова in Russian, Хәлимә Искәндәрова in Tatar), Ruslan Mustafin (Руслан Мустафин), Ernest Timerkhanov (Эрнест Тимерханов), Renata Minvalieva (Рената Минвалиева), Gulfiya Fayzerakhmanova (Гульфия Файзерахманова), Rafyik Kayumov (Рафыйк Каюмов), Farida Safina (Фарида Сафина)
Production studio: Kazan Film Company “Sabantui” (Казанская киностудия “Сабантуй”)


The film’s trailer:



About the author

Julie Hersh

Julie studied Russian as a Second Language in Irkutsk and before that, Bishkek, with SRAS's Home and Abroad Scholarship program, with the goal of someday having some sort of Russia/Eurasia-related career. She recently got her master’s degree from the University of Glasgow and the University of Tartu, where she studied women’s dissent in Soviet Russia. She also has a bachelor’s degree in literature from Yale. Some of her favorite Russian authors are Sorokin, Shishkin, Il’f and Petrov, and Akhmatova. In her spare time Julie cautiously practices martial arts, reads feminist websites, and taste-tests instant coffee for her blog.

Program attended: Home and Abroad Scholar

View all posts by: Julie Hersh