10 September , 2013
Kazakh Director Zhanabek Zhetiru: Recreating Myth In Cinema
Ashraf Dali

Aizhan Zhetiru, the main character of the film, she is also the director's daughter, and her brother Arman Zhetiru contributed to the film
As Otilija Kerbelyte says, in cinema we find the myths and legends portrayed with fantastic genres, special effects, and mythological creatures such as elves and orcs in the The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Mythical creatures usually wear the clothes, which no human would wear (e.g. faun and fairies in Pan’s Labyrinth) and their cinematic reflections look more menacing than depicted by the ancient artists (vampires and werewolves of Van Helsing etc.). Such a depiction style is much closer to computer games and science fiction genre.
However, in Akkyz ( a film produced in 2011by  Kazakh director Zhanabek Zhetiru) recreates the myth of creation in today’s society. He depicts a young girl Aruzhan who carries two eggs and hopes to restore the generation of birds which was destroyed by infection. The convergence of a dream with reality creates the atmosphere of primordial world, along with birds’ noise and folklore songs on the soundtrack.
Aruzhan and her friend Arman dream about better world. One is trying to restore the natural balance, and the other hopes to get rich. However, if you want to create new and better world you must sacrifice something. Thus the creator becomes the victim. Both characters sacrificed something valuable for the creation of the new world.

'Kazan International Festival of Muslim Cinema' logo
The film, according to his director, whom I met in IX Kazan International Festival for Muslim Cinema, is based on a legend reflecting mankind imaginary ideas on the Universe creation. Upon a legend, the God has created World and Earth but all the life originates from a Swan.

The director and his daughter in the streets of Kazan
The film action takes place nowadays. A main heroine, young girl Aruzhan, is not aware of the Legend, however she repeats the Swan fate, lead by her intuition. The young girl herself is the main character as well the daughter of the director.
When we were walking in early morning he described how it was very God gifted film, as swans do not fly alone, but for his pure surprise it happened, and he could capture that secret heavenly moment.

Actress Maira Omar, who played the mother role in the film.

Actor and son of the director
kazakh films director Zhanabek Zhetyru ( born in November, 15, 1958) is also a screenwriter, and film producer. In 1986 he graduated from the philological faculty of the Kazakh State University. From 1988 through 1990 he worked at Kazakh Film studios as an assistant of film director. In 1993 he finished the Higher Courses of Script writers and film directors (HCSD) in Moscow. Nowadays, he is working as a documentary film director in Almaty. He is author and director more than 40 documetnary screens. «Notes by trackman» (2006) is his first full-length movie. Zhanibek Zhetyru is also a member of the Union of Cinemotographers in Republic of Kazakhstan.

Director Zhanabek Zhetyru
His filmography of documentary films includes “Minus re”,  1992. “Education of senses”,1993. “Telkara”1995. “Zapiski putevogo obkhodchika”, 1996. “Kanipa”,  1996. “Zhambyl` s grandson Alymkul”, 20 min., “Khabar” agency, 1996. “  “Khabar” agency, 1996. “Journey to the history of Kazakhstan”,  1997 (co-film director) “Zhangir Khan”,1998. “Monopolist”, 1999. “Two winds of fatherland”, 2000. “Drop of Sun”, 2000. “Ya znaiu gorod budet”,  2000. “Den and Dem”, 2000. “Tagzym” 2001. “Atameken”,   2002. “Syrmen syrlasu”,2003. “Antiquary”, 2003. “Kenesary”,2003. “Makhambet”,2004. «Notes by trackman» 2006, “Shanyrak”, 2007 “The December in flame” – 2007 «Аctor» -2008, «Syr sulei»- 2009, “Writer” 2010, “Akkyz” 2011.
Zhanabek Zhetyru’s first full length feature, “Notes by trackman”, Kazakhfilm, 2006,  was awarded the following prizes:
1. «Grand Prix» ІІІ IFF Eurasia 2006 г
2. FIPRESCI and Premio Achille Valdata 24  IFF Torino 2006 г
3. «Grand Prix»   II IFF «Vernoe serdce». Moscow 2007г
4. The Prize «Bronze Taiga» Y. IFF «Spirit of Fire» Khanty-Mansiysk Russia 2007 г
5. «Grand Prix» IX East-West  Baku 2007г
6. National prize «Kulager» as «The Best film of the year» in the five nominations.
For his film Akkyz he won the Grand Prix in New York Eurasian Film Festival, held last Spring.
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