• 80'
  • Kazakhstan
  • 2007
Abai Kulbai's comic short Apple, a parable of a man picking berries in a snow-covered landscape, was selected for the IFFR in 2004 and was internationally successful. The director returns this year with his feature debut, Strizh. In its depiction of the lives of Almaty young people it is comparable with other works of his generation such as those by Nariman Turebayev or Erzhan Rustembekov. All three are former students of the Academy of Arts in Almaty and of Ardak Amirkulov. Their's was the first Kazakh generation that did not finish the Moscow Film School (VGIK) as their older colleagues had.
Ainur is a teenage girl lost in her feelings and in search of her identity. School sucks as her schoolmates tease her. Life at home sucks too, as her highly pregnant mother concentrates more on her alcoholic partner than on her daughter. The only resort to peace seems to be her father. Ainur's girlfriend Asel seems to become her soul mate until she and her mother falsely accuse Ainur of something. Life requires some more harsh moments for Ainur to go through, and she starts feeling lonely.
Strizh is one of those coming-of-age films that seem to be on the one hand very universal in theme. On the other hand though, it offers the viewer a chance to get to know the young generation in Almaty. One that is totally unaware of the Soviet past and in search of its own identity. The film is shot in the tradition of modern Kazakh cinema, yet with something new. (LC)

Abai Kulbai
International premiere
Country of production
Production Year
Festival Edition
IFFR 2008
Betacam SP PAL
Sergei Azimov
Production Company
Kazakhfilm National Company
Kazakhfilm National Company
Eugénie Zvonkine, Abai Kulbai
Alexander Kostylev
Production Design
Alexei Shindin
Sound Design
Aliya Myrzasheva
Sergei Pogoreltsev
Inessa Kislova, Anar Kakenova