Kyrgyz Cinema Friday

Let’s just say this weekly feature is evolving. While I originally intended it to be a post to showcase a Kyrgyz song that happens to be popular at the time, it has turned into something like, “Hey, look at this cool thing from Kyrgyzstan (or somewhere else in Central Asia).” I don’t mind. I don’t exactly listen to the radio enough to keep up with popular music here (although, I get the feeling that it’s 90% Rihanna and PSY) and I enjoy introducing you guys to whatever happens to be grabbing my attention at the moment. Rap? Black metal? A rock band that Farrell hangs out with/plays shows with? Uzbek kitsch?

Straying even further from the original purpose of the feature, this week I bring you an entire movie from Kyrgyzstan. This is the (in)famous Bishkek, I Love You (Бишкек, я люблю тебя). I wrote about the film a bit when I featured a song from the soundtrack, “Malishka Bee“, but I had never seen it myself. Now the whole thing is up on Youtube (in Russian, no subtitles)! I’m positive that you’re as thrilled as I am, because you were just thinking, “Man, I have the next two hours to kill and absolutely nothing to do.” Well, here’s your solution. You’re welcome!

Next, I’m very much looking forward to Salam, New York going up on Youtube, especially the English version, because a friend of mine did the voiceover for some of the characters.

Speaking of Kyrgyz cinema in general (and credit for this info goes to Dennis from Keen on Kyrgyzstan, plus Daniel for reminding me of it), it’s possible to order DVD versions of pretty much any movie ever produced by the state film agency. Some friends and I are planning to flip through their extensive catalog of all films from the 1930s to today and pick out a few interesting ones. For a small price, the film is projected on a wall and recorded with a digital camera. Voila, digitization. If only all Kyrgyz movies were up on Youtube, then it would be a great way of getting these films out into the world.

At least for now we have Bishkek, I Love You. Let me know if you make it through the whole thing and leave your thoughts about it in the comments section!

A big thanks to Eldar for uploading the whole movie to Youtube. He’s in the movie, playing a bad guy, but I can assure you that in real life he’s super nice. Thanks, Eldar!

One reply on “Kyrgyz Cinema Friday”

  1. Hi Kirsten,

    thank you for the link to the Bishkek, I love you movie. I am moving to Bishkek in September to work for the UN and I was thrilled to get an impression of the city and contemporary Kyrgyz cinema. Even though my Russian skill leave much to desire I think I got the story, sort of at least ;-). I look forward to more links that will hopefully result from your little digitization project.

    All the best,

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