FNE at KVIFF 2010 East of the West: Gastarbeiter

By Iulia Blaga

    Gastarbeiter, the new film from director Yusup Razykov who set a distinctive style for new Uzbek cinema, is a contemporary roadmovie connecting Uzbekistan and Russia through a variety of characters, including an old war veteran who traveling to Moscow to find his nephew. The film also journey through the complex situation of the post-Soviet countries where corruption and crime are perpetrated by mafia gangs.

    Sadyk, the elderly veteran, leaves his Uzbek hometown for Moscow carrying a package from a local businessman with Russian connections. The businessman counts on the innocent appearance of the old man, while the old man hopes that the businessmen for will help him find his nephew. Betrayed by a Moldavian prostitute in a passport exchange, Sadyk is arrested and and questioned about the drugs in the package. The prostitute eventually help him on his journey in search of his grandson.

    "I always look for an interesting and unusual dramatic situation," the director told FNE. "I look for a story that might seem funny at first. But this story has to move me and stimulate my fantasy and my imagination. I was inspired for this story by my last film, Deviciy pastuh. This is a nickname given to boys who go out with girls. The character of that film is going everywhere with the wife of his brother who left to work in Russia (a gastarbeiter, or guest worker). According to tradition, a married woman cannot go out alone. Now, this boy is becoming a gastarbeiter himself, and his grandfather is going to search for him in Russia."

    The executive producer Arthur Kabarov who worked previously with Razykov told FNE that he was attracted in his project "by the luminous characters, especially by the old man Sadyk, and also by the way the film criss-crosses several cultures and traditions." He adds that Razykov uses a new and plastic style in his film.

    Born in Tashkent, Razykov studied philology at Tashkent State University while working as an electrician for the Uzbekfilm Studio, before graduating in screenwriting from Moscow's VGIK film school in 1986. He was the director and the screenwriter of Dolma and The Order, the first Uzbek soap operas, before making his first feature in 1998, the acclaimed tragi-comedy The Orator/Voiz, awarded the Russian Critics' Prize. He treated the subject of polygamy in Women's Kingdom/Zhenskoye tsarstvo(2000) and made the international successful Comrade Boykenzhayev/O'rtok Boykenzhayev in 2002. He also directed The Dance of Men/Dilxiro (2001) where an ambitious narrative structure feeds a philosophical approach to the life's rites of passage. Razykov is a former general director of the Tashkent studio of Uzbekfilm, but has not made a film Uzbekistan in the last five years, he told FNE.

    The budget of Gastarbeiter was 746,500 euro. The film is produced by Vladimir Malyshev and Andrey Malyshev and Russia's AMA Film Company. The film has not premiered in Uzbekhistan, and prospects for a local release have yet to be determined.

    Production Information

    "AMA" Film Company

    Arbat Str. 35, office 546 Russia

    Tel: +7 499 248 2833

    Producers: Vladimir Malyshev, Andrey Malyshev

    Executive producer: Arthur Kabarov

    E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    Director: Yusup Razykov

    Screenplay: Yusup Razykov

    DOP: Mikhail Iskandarov

    Designer: Svetlana Smirnova

    Editor: Denis Luzanov

    Cast: Bakhadyr Boltaev

    Darya Gorshkaleva

    Natalia Grebenkina

    Rano Shadieva

    Alexander Pashutin

    Ivan Ryzhikov

    Djalol Yusupov

    Forkhad Abdullaev

    Dilmurad Masaidov

    Feruza Ruzieva

    Mikhail Samokhvalov