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Suleiman Mountain | Kyrgyz Movie Review

“An intelligent and skillful portrayal of Kyrgyz traditions, shamanic rituals, and folklore themes in a road trip movie with a sufficient pinch of family drama and sporadic comic elements”. Absar Ahmad 

I watched Suleiman Mountain during the 2020 Pune International Film Festival. It was my first and to this date last Kyrgyz movie. Directed by the talented Elizaveta Stishova, Suleiman Mountain has won awards at Eurasia International Film Festival. 

The film tells the story of Karabas (Asset Imangaliev) and his troublesome relationship with his family. It starts from an orphanage. Zhipara (Perizat Ermanbetova) is excited to find her long-lost son Uluk (Daniel Dayrbekov) in an orphanage. For Uluk, this is the best moment in his short life so far. He thinks his dad to be the best person and a hero after hearing about him from his mother. However, this joy does not last long as he faces the harsh reality of life. His father, Karabas, is nowhere where he would have wanted him to be.

Daniel Dayrbekov is impressive and expressive in his portrayal of Uluk
Daniel Dayrbekov is impressive and expressive in his portrayal of Uluk

Karabas is an instinctive gambler, erratic, and sort of insensitive man. To make things worse, he even has a young second wife and is known for his philandering nature in society.

Throughout the movie, we experience different shades of emotions in each relationship. The relationship between Uluk and Karabas where a young boy needs his father’s attention and love. The relationship between Turganbyubyu (Turgunai Erkinbekova) Karabas’ second wife, and Zhipara is fairly complex where the latter is highly insecure about her position in the presence of the former’s presence in her husband’s life.

A Scene From Suleiman Mountain Movie
A Scene From Suleiman Mountain Movie

The thing that I like about Suleiman Mountain is the fact this movie has authenticity and an appealing countryside flavor to it. What makes this movie even more interesting is the fact that it is directed by a person who is not even remotely related to Kyrgyzstan. Elizaveta Stishova is a Russian director and at no place in this movie, you would find any flaw in depicting the Kyrgyz life or culture. She has done a commendable job.

For this reason, I feel this movie deserves to be in my collection of CrossCulturalConnection cinema.


The World of Movies Rating: 07/10


Original Title: Sulayman too

English Title: Suleiman Mountain

Directed By: Elizaveta Stishova

Genre: Drama, International Cinema

Country of Origin: Russia, Kyrgyzstan

Languages: Kyrgyz

Year of Release: 2017

Suleiman Mountain Cast Members: Daniel Daiyerbekov, Perizat Ermanbetova, Asset Imangaliev, Turgunay Erkinbekova

Production Companies: Aitysh Film (co-production) Laeto Films (co-production) Virtual Kick Studio (production) Y-Yatsura (production)

Distributor: ANT!PODE Sales & Distribution

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