Ulbolsyn (Adilkhan Yerzhanov) Kazakhstan / France

Adilkhan Yerzhanov
Kazakhstan/France. 2020. 77 min

Life in Karataş village runs along an untroubled path, until its patriarchal way of life is challenged by Ulbolsyn, a woman whose coldblooded heart and blazing temperament are not afraid of setting everything on fire.

Ulbolsyn, enjoying the freedom of self-actualisation in the big city, has decided to also save her little sister Azhar who is still living in their home village and who is being married off to the local soothsayer to become his youngest wife. While trying to find a way out of the hopelessly closed circle, Ulbolsyn is not helped by the fact that Azhar herself does not wish to be rescued. Azhar does not mind the old age of her future husband Urgen, nor his other wives or the fact that the man has kidnapped her and hidden away from Ulbolsyn. The rest of the sisters’ family are of an equally sceptical opinion, considering the status of a married woman a much more valuable asset than higher education.

As two worlds collide, hearts break and heads roll in a hellishly glamorous spectacle. Every confident step of the characters opens a world where compositions expressively reflect their mental condition and its changes, as well as the colouring range which tells its own story in the role of a detective.


Adilkhan Yerzhanov (Djezkazgan, Kazakhstan. 1982) directed his first feature film, Rieltor (Realtor) in 2001, followed by Stroiteli (Constructors, 2013), Ukkili kamshat (The Owners, 2014), presented out of competition at the Cannes Festival, Chuma v aule Karatas (The Plague at the Karatas Village, 2016), screened at the Rotterdam Festival, Nochnoy Bog (Night God, 2018), released at the Moscow Festival, and Laskovoe bezrazlichie mira (The Gentle Indifference of the World, 2018), which participated in Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Festival.


Olga Khlasheva :    olga.khlasheva@gmail.com