Original Title: Мен сен емес; Петь свои песни
Directed by: Katerina Suvorova
Runtime: 73 minutes
Language: Kazakh, Russian with English subtitles
The members of Kazakhstani boyband, Ninety One, sport bright clothes, earrings and dyed hair. To many outside Kazakhstan, this would be fairly innocuous. Yet, within the country, it is a challenge to traditional masculinity. Even more incendiary is their insistence on performing and recording in Kazakh to preserve, modernise, and affirm their ethnic identity on the global stage, despite socio-political pressures to switch to Russian or English. Ironically, their popularity among local youths has incited angry protests from anti-Russia nationalists and even the government’s public condemnation, leading to frequent concert cancellations. Face the Music explores how these events reveal the volatile contradictions at the heart of Kazakhstan’s divisions between rural and urban culture, tradition and globalisation, authority and liberty, independence, and community.
For the full Whose House Is This: New Cinema of Central Asia programme, please visit the main programme page here.
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