Kurmanjan Datka: American Students Review a Modern Kyrgyz Film

Kurmanjan Datka is a historical drama about a woman who helped unite Kyrgyzstan’s fourty tribes into a nation to fight the invading Russian forces. Recently, a modern film was made of her life and deeds. It is called simply Kurmanjan Datka, although it was released with English subtitles with a second name: Queen of the […]

Bibinur / Бибинур

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 […]

The Return / Хайтарма

The Return (Хайтарма / Qaytarma) is a 2013 Crimean-Tatar (not to be confused with simply Tatar!) dramatic film. It was produced in Ukraine and is in both Russian and Crimean Tatar languages. The film tells the story of the events of May 1944, when over the course of a few days Stalin had the Crimean Tatars […]

Tulpan / Тюльпан

Tulpan (Тюльпан) is an award-winning 2008 comedy-drama by Kazakh director Sergey Dvortsevoy (Сергей Дворцевой). The film was Kazakhstan’s official submission to the 2009 Academy Awards’ Foreign Language Film category. It also won Best Film at the second annual Asia Pacific Screen Awards that same year, as well as a Prix Un Certain Regard at the 2008 […]

Bishkek, I Love You / Бишкек, я люблю тебя

Bishkek, I Love You (Бишкек, я люблю тебя) is a 2011 Kyrgyz comedy/drama film. The film’s tagline was “The first film about your favorite city” (“Первый фильм про твой любимый город”), highlighting how its goal was not only to tell a good story but specifically to give Bishkek the film treatment it deserves. Ruslan Akun […]

Salaam, New York / Салам, Нью-Йорк

Salaam, New York (Салам, Нью-Йорк) is a 2013 Kyrgyz film by director Ruslan Akun (Руслан Акун), who also directed and wrote 2011’s Bishkek, I Love You (Бишкек, я люблю тебя). Akun also wrote the film, along with Gulzhan Toktogulova (Гульжан Токтогулова). It was based on true events—Akun’s time studying at a visual arts school in […]

A Father’s Will / Атанын керээзи

A Father’s Will (Kyrgyz: Атанын керээзи; Russian: Завещание отца) is a 2016 Kyrgyz drama. It was Kyrgyzstan’s 2016 submission to the Oscars for consideration for its Best Foreign Language Film category. (Kyrgyzstan has submitted to the Oscars nine times, but has not yet made the shortlist—maybe this is their year!) The film was directed and […]

Kurmanjan Datka / Курманжан датка

Kurmanjan Datka (Курманжан датка; also known in English as Queen of the Mountains) is a 2014 Kyrgyz historical drama/biopic. The film tells the story of Kyrgyz stateswoman Kurmanjan—“datka” means “general” in Kyrgyz, but it has political, not just military, connotations—from her childhood to her role in uniting the Kyrgyz people. The film is entirely in […]