Завещание отца

A Father’s Will / Атанын керээзи

Published: October 18, 2016

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 written by Bakyt Mukul (Бакыт Мукул) and Dastan Zhapar Jr. (Дастан Жапар уулу). Mukul also plays one of the lead roles.

The film tells the story of Azat, a Kyrgyz man who has been living in America for the past 15 years. However, his father, who has recently died, had wanted him to return to Kyrgyzstan to settle some debts in his native village—and to learn some truths about his family. The film also reflects the traditions of the Kyrgyz people and is thus a good representative of Kyrgyzstan for international audiences.

The film is one of the most talked-about art films to come out of post-independence Kyrgyzstan. It won the Golden Zenith for the Best First Fiction Feature Film at the Montreal World Film Festival, a huge achievement in general and a first for a Kyrgyz film, and was invited to participate in a number of other film festivals. It also got very good reviews from film reviewers in the region and abroad. All this is especially impressive considering that it was Mukul and Zhapar’s directorial debut, and the film debut of its star, Iman Mukul (Иман Мукул).


Directors: Bakyt Mukul (Бакыт Мукул), Dastan Zhapar Jr. (Дастан Жапар уулу)
Stars: Iman Mukul (Иман Мукул), Tynara Abdrazaeva (Тынара Абдразаева), Rahat Aksultanova (Рахат Аксултанова), Marat Alishpaev (Марат Алишпаев), Bakyt Mukul (Бакыт Мукул), Nurbek Musaev (Нурбек Мусаев)
Production companies: Kyrgyzfilm, Elfilm


Official trailer:



A Father's Will

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