Kazakh film in running for Oscar

The Kazakh film “Kelin” (Daughter-in-Law) was nominated on Oct. 22 for the 2009 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.

Madi Asanov


KAZAKHSTAN — The Kazakh film “Kelin” (Daughter-in-Law) was nominated on Oct. 22 for the 2009 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics and audiences at home, the film was a box-office success in Kazakhstan.

“It was released last summer and received mixed reactions from viewers. Some regarded “Kelin” as a masterpiece, while others could not comprehend why not a single word is uttered throughout the film,” wrote Kazakh newspaper Vremya.

Critics who have praised the film say that Kelin “is unlike any of the other films nominated for an Oscar in the same category.” Oleg Boretsky, the country’s leading film critic said, “It is a highly original film and its story is told in the purest form of film language.” It has already won the top prize at a Russian film festival in Yalta.

Disagreements arose between director Ermek Tursunov and executives at the Kazakhfilm motion picture studio before the film premiered. The executives argued that “Kelin” contained offensive sexual scenes, but Tursunov refused to cut them, insisting that eroticism was a critical component of the tale it told. “Not a word is spoken in the film. There are merely primitive, shamanic passions that revolve around a woman – passions that are innate and generic,” the official film description states.

The story that “Kelin” tells is a simple one. A father offers his daughter’s hand in marriage to a suitor bearing more valuable gifts than those offered by the man she loves. The young woman goes to live with her new husband’s family under the same roof as his mother and younger brother. The two men then compete for her affections.

Following the release in 2006 of “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,” which starred British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, Kazakhstan can now show through the medium of film that the country is nothing like the caricature presented in “Borat.”

Most of the ten to 15 feature films made in Kazakhstan every year are the products of the state film company Kazakhfilm. Private sector film production in Kazakhstan has unfortunately not yet found its footing.

[Azattyq.org, Time.kz, CA-News.org, KP.kz]

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  • For learning.

    October 17, 2013 @ 02:10:14PM amanullah codent
  • The idea of this movie is not new. In the Soviet era, Turkmenfilm shot a film called “Daughter-in-law” (director Hodjakuli Narliyev), which was awarded the Palm at the Cannes Film Festival in the 1980s. So all that the Kazakh director did was just add some new details to the old plot.

    October 27, 2009 @ 01:10:00AM