Gulzat Egemberdieva & Chubak Egemberdiev
Digital HD, color & black & white, approx. 60 min.
Funded by the Canada Council for the Arts
A documentary film putting into dialogue the filmmaker and a group of Pamir Kyrgyz who recently left their high-mountain pastures to integrate Kyrgyz society after a hundred years of exile on the border of Afghanistan and Tadjikistan. The Pamir Kyrgyz reflect on their position within the Afghan War and the dispersion of their people between Afghanistan, China, and Turkey, a result of the “Great Game” opposing Great Britain, Russia, and other powers a hundred years ago. Living at 4,000 meters above sea level, the Pamir Kyrgyz have been visited by explorers and ethnographers since the late nineteenth century, who took notes, photographs, made films, and brought back to the West the ornaments, carpets, yurts, and other “exotic” testimonies of these nomads trapped on the “Roof of the World.”
Born herself in the late Soviet era, the filmmaker has also experienced migration, from village to city, and from her homeland to the West. When it is night for her, the sun rises for the Pamir Kyrgyz. Both search for their respective present and past. What arises in this dialogue is the question of home in a world that has become global and how to stop the time machine that has been running out of control. Has the time come to learn from each other?
The film attempts to answer these questions by confronting three lenses—that of the Pamir Kyrgyz themselves, who filmed their life in the Pamir and their travel to their mythical homeland; recent documentary films shot about them and photographs of the Pamir museum collections; and our own camera, capturing moments of the dialogue and the problematic sojourn of the Pamir Kyrgyz in their new home.