Oscars: Kyrgyzstan Submits 'Heavenly Nomadic' for Foreign-Language Category

Heavenly Nomadic - H 2015
Courtesy of Karlovy Vary IFF

The film, about a family of nomads, is a debut for actor-turned-director Mirlan Abdykalykov.

Kyrgyzstan's submission for the Oscar for best foreign-language film, Heavenly Nomadic, by actor-turned-director Mirlan Abdykalykov, is a contemporary tale of paradise lost set in a remote region of the central Asian country.

Filmed on location, the movie — also known by its local-language title, Sutak — is about a family of nomads living in the harsh, but beautiful surroundings of the Turgen gorge near Lake Issyk-Kul.

An elderly herdsman, his wife, their daughter-in-law Shaiyr (Taalaikan Abazova) and their 7-year-old granddaughter, live together, occasionally visited by Shaiyr's eldest son, Ulan, who studies in the city.

Shaiyr's husband has died many years before, swept away by the river, but she remains, unable to leave the bond of earth and beauty of the beguiling land. When a meteorologist Ermek (Jenish Kangeldiev) moves to live nearby, Shaiyr's measured life will never be the same again.

The film is based on a screenplay by Aktan Arym Kubat, best known in the west for his award-winning 2010 film The Light Thief, which also featured Abazova.

Heavenly Nomadic had its world premiere in Karlovy Vary's East of the West competition last July. The film is produced by Aitysh Film, which produced last year's Kyrgyz Oscar nomination, Kurmanjan Datka Queen of the Mountains and Oy Art Film.