• Golden Globe Awards

Shyrakhy: Guardian of The Light (Kazakhstan)

Shyrakhy: Guardian of The Light begins in 1945 Germany during the Battle of Berlin. A Soviet soldier, an ethnic Kazakh (Muratzhan Mukazhanov), is thrown into action as his fellow soldiers die in his arms. But the film is not a war movie. All this mayhem is just a prologue in which this Kazakh soldier meets a somnambular elderly German man who wanders the ruins after losing his whole family.The man gives the soldier a square bag whose contents we only discover after the war is over, and the soldier returns to Kazakhstan where he finds his home is a semi-ruin and his wife has left him. All that he possesses now are the contents of the square bag – a portable German film projector and some old movies in English.Jump to 30 years later: the man has aged, but still is on the move, cycling from village to village to screen, for pennies, his small library of films. He also narrates the pictures, not understanding a word of foreign dialogue. But people are happy, and so is he. The film is a passionate love letter to cinema and to the people who are ready to suffer for art. It was directed by famed Kazakh director Ermek Tursunov, previously shortlisted for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film for Kelin (2009). Tursunov is also the Chairman of the Filmmakers Union of Kazakhstan.Shirakshy: Guardian of The Light was recently featured at the Shanghai International Film Festival to critical acclaim. Later this year it won the 4th Sochi International Film Festival. Muratzhan Mukazhanov, who played the main character in the film, accepted the Golden Irida statuette.