Film Screening and Discussion: Ayka
Thursday, April 1, 2021
4:00 pm (EST)

After you register here, a link to the Vimeo livestream will be sent to your email.

Award-winning actress Samal Yeslyamova (Tulpan) plays the role of Ayka, a Kyrgyz illegal migrant in Moscow. Ayka has no money, no home, and she just gave birth. She is never still, so we follow her through wintry Moscow streets on her reckless pursuit to find work. An aggressive soundtrack and visceral cinematography emphasize the vision of a huge megalopolis where anyone can get lost or disappear. It is Yeslyamova, however, who steals the camera; always moving forward in her unraveling as she enters her curtained den until the end, when she and the camera give us a chance to breathe. In 2010, 248 newborns were abandoned in Moscow's maternity wards, a statistic information director Sergey Dvortsevoy found in the newspapers and adapted for his film. He likes to make films from "real" life and values surprises and doubt, interested in what happens when families and relationships break down between people and their environment to the point when an individual is morally damaged. His film comes at a time of worldwide chaotic migration, and it is obvious that what happened to Ayka is happening to others. (Maryna Ajaja, SIFF)

Moderator: Nancy Condee, Director, Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies
                                               Director of Graduate Studies, Slavic Languages and Literatures
Speakers: Colin Johnson, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Idaho State University
                  Heath Cabot, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh

View the trailer here:

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