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by Emir Baigazin


A family lives in a remote Kazakh village. There are five sons. The oldest, Aslan, becomes the father’s deputy in charge of all the work and delegating tasks to his younger brothers. Fair and humane, he sympathises with his siblings when they err, and accepts the father’s blame for them. One day Aslan takes the children to the river, a moment of happiness as the river is deep enough for a real swim. Since then, life is different. The children become more diligent in their daily chores, while the river turns into the focus of their lives.
One day a mystic visitor, Kanat, arrives at the village. From the moment Kanat shows the children his tablet and computer games, life at home takes a different turn. Suddenly it’s Kanat with his toy who becomes the new leader, condescendingly opening a door to the outer world. One day, Aslan takes Kanat to the river. The city boy disappears, and the paradisiacal river turns into the Styx. Each brother will have his own way of dealing with the tragedy, and family ties will be put to the test.

international title: The River
original title: Ozen
working title: The River: Aslan and His Brothers
country: Kazakhstan, Poland, Norway, Netherlands
year: 2018
genre: fiction
directed by: Emir Baigazin
film run: 108'
screenplay: Emir Baigazin
cast: Zhalgas Klanov, Eric Tazabekov, Zhasulan Userbayev, Ruslan Userbayev, Bagdaulet Sagindikov, Sultanali Zhaksybek, Kuandyk Kystykbayev, Aida Iliyaskyzy
cinematography by: Emir Baigazin
film editing: Emir Baigazin
art director: Sergey Kopylov
costumes designer: Aidana Kozhageldina
music: Justyna Banaszczyk
producer: Hilde Berger, Emir Baigazin, Klaudia Smieja, Ludmila Cvikova
production: Norsk Filmproduksjon, Madants Sp. z o.o., Ludmila Cvikova C&P, Emir Baigazin Production (KZ)
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