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Still from the film "Akyn (Poet)" by Darezhan Omirbayev. A woman sitting alone in an empty theatre is turned and facing the back of the room.
  • Director

    Darezhan Omirbayev

  • Kazakhstan / 2021
    105 min. / Original version with English subtitles

  • Original language

    Kazakh, Russian

Didar is a poet, but he cannot live from his poetry. He has to write early in the mornings before setting out for his day job as a newspaper editor. But the sense of crisis that pervades his life is not only linked to his economic situation. At work, pessimistic discussions are held about Kazakh’s dwindling significance, dying languages and the worldwide dominance of English. Everywhere people are staring at screens. The triumph of content, commercialisation and social media is unstoppable. In a world like this, is there anyone left who’s still interested in poetry? The audience at the reading in the provinces is certainly modest at best. Omirbayev has Didar read a book about Kazakh poet Makhambet Otemisuly, which allows him to connect the two figures and to lead us away from present-day Almaty for a while and into the early nineteenth century and the Kazakh steppe, where Otemisuly’s resistance against the authorities cost him his life. Even if his own life is not at risk, Didar must decide how he will retain his dignity. (Anna Hoffmann)

Darezhan Omirbayev, born in 1958 in Uyuk in the former USSR. He first studied mathematics and later film. Since his feature film debut Kairat in 1992, he has made several features that have been shown and awarded prizes at major international festivals.

Production Yuliya Kim, Yerzhan Akhmetov. Production company Kazakhfilm (Almaty, Kazakhstan). Written and directed by Darezhan Omirbayev. Cinematography Boris Troshev. Editing Gulyaim Kozhamberdiyeva. Sound design Alexandr Vlaznev. Sound Alexandr Vlaznev. Production design Alexandr Rorokin. Costumes Aliya Imasheva. Make-up Aida Shaizada. Casting Aikhan Chatayeva. Assistant director Darkhan Kozhakhan. Executive producer Olzhas Tartayev. With Yerdos Kanayev, Serik Salkinbayev, Klara Kabylgazina, Gulmira Khasanova, Bolat Shanin, Aida Abdurakhman.

World sales Yuliya Kim

Films: 1982: Zhizn (3 min.). 1988: Shilde / July (25 min.). 1992: Kairat (72 min.). 1995: Kardiogramma (75 min.). 1998: Tueur à gages / Killer (80 min.). 2001: Jol / The Road (85 min.). 2007: Chouga (85 min.). 2012: Student (89 min.). 2021: Akyn / Poet.

Background, Director's Commentary, Poems by Makhambet Otemisuly, Video about the Director

  • Still from the film "Akyn (Poet)" by Darezhan Omirbayev. A group of five men peer into a room through an open door.


    In “Language and Power” Nina Frieß and Beate Eschment write about the difficult situation of literature in Kazakhstan.

  • Still from the film "Akyn (Poet)" by Darezhan Omirbayev. A bearded man sits against a structure, looking upward.

    Director's Commentary

    Darezhan Omirbaev on the loneliness of the artist through the centuries.

  • Still from the film "Akyn (Poet)" by Darezhan Omirbayev. A man stands smoking alone in a stairwell.


    “Lapwing Bird” and “Saddling a Horse for War” by Makhambet Otemisuly.

  • Still from the film "Akyn (Poet)" by Darezhan Omirbayev. We see an empty road through a rainy windshield.


    A portrait of Darezhan Omirbaev, with interview and film clips.

Forum Program 2022

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