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 […]

Nazgul Toktakunova / Назгуль Токтакунова

Nazgul Toktakunova (Назгуль Токтакунова) is a Kyrgyz pop singer. Some of her music—she sings in both Kyrgyz and Russian—is influenced by rap and hip-hop stylings, though most of her music is more generally pop-y. Toktakunova was born in 1987 in Bishkek. She always wanted to become a singer—and in 2015 she said she thought that […]

Gulzhigit Kalykov / Гулжигит Калыков

Gulzhigit Kalykov (Гулжигит Калыков) is a Kyrgyz pop singer and an occasional actor. Kalykov hails from Bishkek. He began singing while in school, taking a few standard music classes but actually focusing more on soccer. Yet when all the other students in his music class gradually dropped out, his teacher noticed his potential and helped […]

Anzhelika Bekbolieva / Анжелика Бекболиева

Anzhelika Bekbolieva (Анжелика Бекболиева), who goes by the name Anzhelika alone in her singing career, is a Kyrgyz pop singer (not to be confused with the Russian/Soviet singer Anzhelika). Anzhelika was born in Bishkek in 1989. She started singing young: her first performance took place when she was around age eight, at a variety theater. […]

Non Stop

Non Stop is a very popular contemporary Kyrgyz pop/rock group. Its members are the two soloists Maksat Sadyrbekov (Максат Садырбеков) and Cholpon Talipbekova (Чолпон Талипбекова). The name of the group came from that of their first song—there is also a Russian group called Non Stop (with a vastly different image and musical style), but the […]

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