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Directed 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.

"Shot is stunning, beautiful Super-8, with separately recorded audio, Echard’s film juxtaposes the gorgeously composed visuals of day-to-day life with the powerful voices of the women of Kyrgyzstan. Connecting literature, reality, past, and the present, Echard’s film is a testament to the importance of women’s stories." —The Arts Fuse

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

"JAMILIA is a film about womanhood, about the necessity for individuality in a stagnating society. the honesty, determination and authenticity of the women Echard has interviewed will win one over."  —Asian Movie Pulse

"Recommended! Illustrate[s] the violence surrounding women’s rights, and gender inequality in the past and the present." —Educational Media Reviews Online (EMRO)

Youth Public Award, IsReal Film Festival 2018
Berlin Film Festival 2018
Cinéma du Réel Film Festival 2018
Boston Women's Film Festival, USA, 2018
Images Festival Film Festival 2018
Documenta Madrid Film Festival 2018
Vancouver International Film Festival 2018

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

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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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