Babai

  • 65'
  • Russia
  • 2020

The Babai is a Slavic folkloric figure used by parents as an educational threat. Children who get up at night are kidnapped by this mysterious creature, parents tell them, hoping their little ones will stay in bed. Russian director Artem Aisagaliev adopts the grim undertone of this fairy tale to illustrate the fear and trauma inextricably linked to aging.

His claustrophobic feature film is about young brothers Mark and Gesha, who live with their father. The tense close-ups depict scenes from a childhood characterised by discipline and humiliation. Although the images and situations are extremely realistic, almost documentary in nature, Aisagaliev uses the boys’ lives allegorically: from the initial, pitch-black shots to the lights dying out at the end, this is a story about the cycle of a life marked by trauma.

Director
Artem Aisagaliev
Premiere
World premiere
Countries of production
Russia, USA
Production Year
2020
Festival Edition
IFFR 2020
Length
65'
Medium
DCP
Languages
Russian, Kazakh
Producer
Artem Aisagaliev
Production Company
Badcut Inc
Sales
Badcut Inc
Screenplay
Artem Aisagaliev
Editor
Artem Aisagaliev, Mo Faraji
Cast
Saggidulla Aisagaliev, Gesha Aisagaliev, Mark Aisagaliev, Sergey Aisagaliev, Tamara Barsukova, Dzhumabai Aisagaliev, Anton Martinov