Didar is a poet, but he cannot live from his poetry. He has to write early in the mornings before setting out for his day job as a newspaper editor. But the sense of crisis that pervades his life is not only linked to his economic situation. At work, pessimistic discussions are held about Kazakh’s dwindling significance, dying languages and the worldwide dominance of English. Everywhere people are staring at screens. The triumph of content, commercialisation and social media is unstoppable. In a world like this, is there anyone left who’s still interested in poetry? The audience at the reading in the provinces is certainly modest at best. Omirbayev has Didar read a book about Kazakh poet Makhambet Otemisuly, which allows him to connect the two figures and to lead us away from present-day Almaty for a while and into the early nineteenth century and the Kazakh steppe, where Otemisuly’s resistance against the authorities cost him his life. Even if his own life is not at risk, Didar must decide how he will retain his dignity.
by Darezhan Omirbayev
with Yerdos Kanayev, Serik Salkinbayev, Klara Kabylgazina, Gulmira Khasanova, Bolat Shanin, Aida Abdurakhman
Kazakhstan 2021 Kazakh, Russian 105’ Colour


  • Yerdos Kanayev
  • Serik Salkinbayev
  • Klara Kabylgazina
  • Gulmira Khasanova
  • Bolat Shanin
  • Aida Abdurakhman


Written and Directed by Darezhan Omirbayev
Cinematography Boris Troshev
Editing Gulyaim Kozhamberdiyeva
Sound Design Alexandr Vlaznev
Sound Alexandr Vlaznev
Production Design Alexandr Rorokin
Costumes Aliya Imasheva
Make-Up Aida Shaizada
Casting Aikhan Chatayeva
Assistant Director Darkhan Kozhakhan
Producers Yuliya Kim, Yerzhan Akhmetov
Executive Producer Olzhas Tartayev

World sales

Yuliya Kim

Produced by


Darezhan Omirbayev

Born in 1958 in Uyuk in the former USSR. He first studied mathematics and later film. Since his feature film debut Kairat in 1992, he has made several features that have been shown and awarded prizes at major international festivals.


1982 Zhizn; 3 min. 1988 Shilde (July); 25 min. 1992 Kairat; 72 min. 1995 Kardiogramma; 75 min. 1998 Tueur à gages (Killer); 80 min. 2001 Jol (The Road); 85 min. 2007 Chouga; 85 min. 2012 Student; 89 min. 2021 Akyn (Poet); 104 min.

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2022