Atirkül in the Land of Real Men
World premiere: Ji.hlava 2023 / Czech Joy Competition
International premiere: IDFA 2023 / Luminous
In the vast plains of Kyrgyzstan, men have been cultivating a group sport with a long tradition. The aim of the game buzkashi is to steal the trophy of a dead goat from the rival team of riders, all while staying on horseback. Into this tough masculine world enters Atirkül, a woman with an enterprising spirit and a sense of humour. The film follows the everyday life of the headstrong horse lover Atirkül, whose ambition is to build her own buzkashi team of local young men to preserve the heritage of her native region. The ethnographic perspective alternates with a purely personal one, gradually revealing the possibilities of overcoming gender roles.
“They say it’s not for women! This makes me feel insecure. But I don’t care, I just follow my heart.”
A FILM BY Janyl Jusupjan | France, Czech Republic, Kyrgyzstan | 2023 | 65'