Kurmanjan Datka Queen of the Mountains - Kyrgyzstan’s submission for the 87th Academy Awards® Foreign Language Film

 

Kyrgyzstan’s largest budget film throughout time, a historical epic drama that touches the heart.

This is a true story about a woman who knows her destiny has the power to fulfill it. A grand visual and heart opening experience told in a incredible landscape, with authentic costumes and powerful acting. Directed by Sadyk Sher-Niyaz. During the film screening at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, Oscar® nominee and Golden Globe winner Sharon Stone announced the splendid quality of the film  “it is genuinely what we think of when we think of the word ‘epic.’ It is epic in its size and proportion. It is epic in its dignity. It in epic in its integrity. It is epic in its custom. It is epic in its performances. It is epic in its directorial debut,” Stone said.

Hosted by Award winning Sharon Stone, photo courtesy of Aitysh Film

The film features more than 10 000 people and majority of the filming took place in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan.This true story takes place during the early 19th century. The leading role Kurmanjan, played by Elina Abai Kyzy, was predicted to live a great destiny and to lead her people from total destruction. This was mocked as women during this time had no rights. Later on in life, during her teenage years Kurmanjan was forced into an arranged marriage to a man that she didn’t love. Being brave and courageous as she is, Kurmanjan, breaks the tradition and on the first night rides away back home. Later on she marries the ruler of the Alai highlands, a man who she chooses herself. Unfortunately her husband is murdered and Kurmanjan is left with the responsibility, not only over her family but also to the people of the indigenous land. Because of her inner strength and dignity she became the very first woman throughout history to be given the title Datka, meaning General. Kurmanjan became the Queen of the mountains. Taking on the key role as a negotiator when Russia invaded the indigenous land.

The Egyptian Theatre

In the film we have the opportunity to see the real photographs of Kurmanjan, and to get a glimpse of this heroic woman. These photographs were preserved by a young officer from the Russian army, who later became the President of Finland.

The casting is phenomenal, as they were able to find actresses so similar to one another. Specifically impressive casting is the role of Kurmanjan as an elder, played by Jamal Seydakhmatova.

Elina Abai Kyzy, who plays Kurmanjan during her active years grabs the audience with her skills not only as an actress but also her skills on horse.

Elina Abai Kyzy in the leading role, photo courtesy of Aitysh Film

Noting that the film has the potential to be an Oscar winner, Stone also said “I think this film will certainly put Kyrgyzstan on the map in filmmaking and we in the global filmmaking community are going to expect to see more amazing films from this country.”

Majestic celing

This is a true story about a woman who knows her destiny has the power to fulfill it. A grand visual and heart opening experience told in a incredible landscape, authentic costumes and powerful acting.

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