Open City Documentary Festival • 1h 24m
Dir. Aminatou Echard - 2018 - France,Kyrgystan - Languages:: Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Russian, English - Subtitles available in: French, English, Russian, Spanish
The film, set in Kyrgyzstan, is a search for Jamilia, the title character in the novella by Chinghiz Aitmatov about a young woman who rebels against the rules of Kyrgyz society. We will meet women who, in talking about Jamilia, reveal their own private lives and desires, the rules they chafe under and their ideas of freedom.
"Jamilia portrays a country through the prism of these women’s stories, describing what their lives are like in a country where the patriarchal system curbs their freedom to work, desire, love live or dream. Jamilia speaks about women and lets women speak for themselves. About resistance, and about freedom they find in unexpected places, despite the restraints and limitations imposed on them. The film proposes a different relationship with time, allowing us to grasp a desire for elsewhere and for rebellion, offering a poetical reading of a world open to invention and sensuality." Aminatou Echard
Context of the novella's publication:
Jamilia was written by Chinghiz Aitmatov in 1958. Louis Aragon came across it in the literary journal “Novy Mir”, and decided to translate it into French (it wasn’t translated into English until the 2000’s). The novella was published in a speci c and somewhat unusual context: political authorities controlled all publishing, while also developing schools and education across the USSR. The paradox was that “Jamilia” become a classic despite the fact that the main, title character broke all the rules, defying the authority of both her father and the village leader. “Jamilia” had been part of the Soviet school curriculum since 1960. Since Kyrgystan obtained independence, in 1990, it has continued to be studied in schools there with the same kind of respect granted to Victor Hugo’s work in France, Shakespeare’s in Great Britain, etc. Thus Kyrgyz, everyone – men, women and children of all ages – know “Jamilia".