Song from the Southern Seas

  • 82'
  • Kazakhstan
  • 2008
Kyrgyz-born film maker Marat Sarulu draws inspiration from the ancient folklore of his native land and his work is deeply rooted in the troubled history of Central Asia. Sarulu’s films explore the meaning of traditional values, the bonds of brotherhood and the issues of ethnic identity. An animator by education (he studied under the famous Russian animator F. Khitruk), Sarulu employs a variety of visual techniques, including work in black-and-white (My Brother Silk Road, 2001) and animation (episodes in Songs from the Southern Seas).
Sarulu’s latest film is the story of two neighbours, Ivan and Assan, living in a remote Kazakh village. Ivan is Russian, Assan is Kazakh, and when Ivan’s wife gives birth to a dark-haired baby, the jealous husband casts suspicion on his best friend. The village vendetta lasts for 15 years, and as Ivan’s son grows into a disobedient teenager and runs away from home, Ivan’s humiliation seems to be too much for him to bear. In the land where Kazakhs, Kyrgyzs, Russians and Germans have had to live side by side for at least one hundred years, the quest for one’s ethnic identity turns into a pursuit of happiness.
Sarulu decorates his contemporary tale with dream-like mountain landscapes, animated interludes and folk music. (MB)

Director
Marat Sarulu
Countries of production
Kazakhstan, Germany, Russia, France
Production Year
2008
Festival Edition
IFFR 2009
Length
82'
Medium
35mm
Original title
Pesn' yuzhnih morei
Language
Russian
Producers
Sain Gabdullin, Karsten Stöter, Benny Drechsel, Yuri Obukhov, Guillaume de Seille
Production Companies
Kino Company, Rohfilm Factory, KinoProba, Arizona Productions
Sales
Rohfilm Factory
Screenplay
Marat Sarulu
Cinematography
Giorgi Beridze
Editor
Karl Riedl
Production Design
Erwin Prib, Sergej Bulavin
Sound Design
Jörg Theil
Music
Andrey Sigle
Cast
Vladimir Yavorsky, Dzhaidarbek Kunguzhinov
Website
http://rohfilmfactory.de/song-from-the-southern-seas