As a new movie about the childhood of Kazakhstan’s president premieres in Almaty tonight, cinemagoers expecting a eulogy to the Leader of the Nation are in for a surprise: The Sky of My Childhood, directed by Rustem Abdrashov for Kazakhfilm, is no piece of simplistic post-Soviet propaganda.
This Kazakh-language movie certainly offers a flattering picture of a young Nursultan Nazarbayev, but it also presents a reflective look at Soviet Kazakhstan in the 1940s and 1950s. It was filmed with a budget of $3 million against a background of the luscious countryside in which this rural-boy-made-good grew up.
The action features a boy named Sultan, born into a family living on the rolling zhaylau (alpine pasturelands) of Ushkonyr outside Almaty. It traces his early childhood in the countryside growing up in a yurt with his mother, father and grandmother, and their move when he was a young boy to the village of Shamalgan.
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