Directed by: Katerina Suvorova
Runtime: 73 minutes
Language: Kazakh, Russian with English subtitles
The members of Kazakhstani boyband, Ninety One, sport bright clothes, earrings and dyed hair. To many outside Kazakhstan, this would be fairly innocuous. Yet, within the country, it is a challenge to traditional masculinity. Even more incendiary is their insistence on performing and recording in Kazakh to preserve, modernise, and affirm their ethnic identity on the global stage, despite socio-political pressures to switch to Russian or English. Ironically, their popularity among local youths has incited angry protests from anti-Russia nationalists and even the government’s public condemnation, leading to frequent concert cancellations. Face the Music explores how these events reveal the volatile contradictions at the heart of Kazakhstan’s divisions between rural and urban culture, tradition and globalisation, authority and liberty, independence, and community.
Face the Music will be available for rent via Vimeo On Demand at USD$3.50 from 19 June to 16 July 2020. Please click on the “Book Now” button which will redirect you to Vimeo. Upon purchase, the film will be available to you for 48 hours.
Due to the closure of cinemas following the COVID-19 pandemic, Whose House Is This? : New Cinema of Central Asia is the first programme from the Asian Film Archive that will be presented entirely online, as part of the newly-launched series “Rewired”.