Original Title: Айка
Directed by: Sergey Dvortsevoy
Runtime: 110 minutes
Country: Russia, Germany, Poland, Kazakhstan, China
Language: Russian, Kyrgyz with English subtitles
Rating: NC16 (Brief Nudity)
Cannes Film Festival 2018
Asian Film Awards 2018
Based on the recent wave of migration from Central Asian countries to Russia, Ayka treads the line between social realist drama and thriller in tracing the journey of an undocumented Kyrgyz migrant to Moscow. Breaking open a hospital window, the eponymous protagonist escapes from the maternity ward after giving birth to her first child. With her creditors in close pursuit, Ayka’s desperate search for a job leads her across many spaces—a blistering snowstorm, an illegal hostel, an inhospitable slaughterhouse. Composed of handheld close-ups and a cast of non-professional actors, many migrant workers themselves, the film is shot in a documentary style that is simultaneously intimate and uneasy. Ayka’s passage through Moscow’s wintry streets reveals both the city’s spatial hierarchies and her deftness in navigating them, despite her peripheral position within its urban core.
For the full Whose House Is This: New Cinema of Central Asia programme, please visit the main programme page here.
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