Directors: Aminatou Echard

  • COUNTRY : France, Kyrgystan


Set in Kyrgyzstan, this film tells of a search for Jamilia, the title character in the 1958 novella by Chingiz Aitmatov about a young woman who rebels against the rules of Kyrgyz society. At the film's beginning, a woman's voice can be heard, describing the self-confident and strong-willed Jamila. It is World War II and her husband is fighting on the front. The young woman is unhappy in her arranged marriage and decides to break with tradition and elope with her great love. Jamilia turns out to be an ideal subject for director Aminatou Echard to start conversations with women in Kyrgyzstan and gain access to their world. The topic is by no means an innocuous one. For whether the women are speaking about Jamila or about their own lives, it quickly becomes clear how powerful the conflicts, longings, and desires for self-determination still are. Echard shot her film on silent Super-8 film, recording the sound separately, yet the materiality of the film never feels like a retro novelty. Instead, the film connects literature, reality and the present. The result is a set of carefully composed portraits whose beauty reflects both the candour of Aitmatov's novel and the strength of today's

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