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A film by Aminatou Echard

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This mesmerizing film, shot in Kyrgyzstan on richly saturated Super-8 footage, is a search for Jamilia, the title character in that country's famous novel by Chinghiz Aitmatov, about a young woman who rebels against the strict rules of her society.

Over the course of its haunting narrative, director Aminatou Echard introduces contemporary Kyrgyz women who, in talking about this literary heroine, reveal their own private lives and desires, the social rules they chafe under and their ideas of freedom.

Jamilia portrays Kyrgyzstan through the prism of these women's stories. They describe what their lives are like in a country where the patriarchal system may see them kidnapped by would-be suitors, and curbs their freedom to work, desire, love, live and dream.

Jamilia lets the women speak for themselves—about resistance and the freedom they find in unexpected places, despite the restraints and limitations imposed upon them. With dreamy pacing and a shifting relationship to time, the film gives viewers access to its subjects' desire for adventure, rebellion, independence and sensuality.

"Echard's Super-8 film features long-lasting beautiful portraits of women of various ages whose voices tell us: Since Jamilia, Kyrgyz women no longer feel powerless." —Lara Ladik, Perlentaucher

"An intimate yet ambitious documentary survey of Kyrgyz women about their opinions of a national literary heroine, the eponymous Jamilia."  Daniel Kasman, Mubi

Berlinale Film Festival, Berlin, Germany, 2018
Cinéma du Réel Film Festival, Paris, France, 2018
Fronteira Festival, Goiânia, Brazil, 2018
Images Festival, Toronto, Canada, 2018
Youth Public Award, IsReal Film Festival, Sardinia, Italy, 2018
Vancouver International Film Festival, Canada 2018
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC 2018

84 minutes / Color
Kyrgistan; Russian; Uzbek; English / English subtitles
Closed Captioned
Release: 2018
Copyright: 2018

For colleges, universities, government agencies, hospitals and corporations

This DVD is sold with a license for institutional use and Public Performance rights.

Subject areas:
Anthropology (Cultural), Asia, Cinema Studies, Cultural Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Ethics, Historiography, Human Rights, Kyrgyzstan, Literature, Psychology, Russia, and the former Soviet Union, Women's Studies

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