Kazakhstan chooses speechless Kelin as nominee for Oscars

ASTANA.  November 4. KAZINFORM In the list of the 65 films nominated for Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language Film category Kazakhstan is represented by Yermek Tursunov's Kelin (Daughter-in-law), a movie without a single word spoken. It had already been screened at several international festivals receiving serious acclaim of the critics.

The film is set in the early centuries AD among the ancient Turkic tribe inhabiting the Altai Mountains. It depicts relations of common nomads, which may seem difficult to understand today but still reflect the essential elements of human behavior.

The film's plot evolves around a tragic story of a young woman when her father arranges her marriage against her will. The character, for the sake of duty to parents, had to suppress her feelings and marry the man who gave his father a good imbursement. The now daughter-in-law (Kelin) is still in love with another man who had no means to pay her father and comes into direct confrontation with his lover's husband and Kelin's new family.

The movie attracted public attention due to the fact that its characters do not say a single word during the whole story. Everything is explained with the help of sound and gestures.

Initially, there were discussions about whether the movie should be edited for content or not shown in Kazakhstan altogether, since it contains some "explicit sex scenes". However, in June Kelin eventually appeared in cinemas uncut and enjoyed serious success among the country's cinema-goers.

One of the country's renowned film critics, Oleg Boretsky commented on the news about the inclusion of Kelin in the long list of Oscar nominees in a media interview: "Kelin is a very original film, narrated by the pure language of cinema. This beautifully filmed, and clearly told story without words, would be understandable to all the spectators. I'm not ashamed that this picture represents Kazakhstan. I have no doubt that among those 65 nominees you won't find an analogue of our story, which is told without words," he said.

Admitting Kelin will not be bookmakers' favourite to win an Oscar, Boretsky said the film was "worthy" of being represented at the Cannes Film Festival next May in the category "Un Certain Regard" (A Certain Outlook), in which the "Tulip" (another Kazakhstan film) won a few years ago. "That is a format slightly different from Oscars," he concluded,  Kazinform refers to News Bulletin No 30 of the Kazakh Embassy in the USA.

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