Kazakhstan strikes back with 'the real Borat story'

 

Emma Pritchard Jones
Friday 13 January 2012 01:00
Comments

Kazakhstan is striking back. Five years after Sacha Baron Cohen portrayed it as a place of slack-jawed, sister-marrying thugs, its film industry is producing what it styles "the real Borat story."

According to Kazakh tourism minister Talgat Ermegiayev, "it will show international audiences the real Kazakhstan and just how much it has to offer."

There isn't a nylon suit to be seen in Myn Bala – it's a historical epic which tells the tale of how two centuries ago, Kazakhs overthrew their Mongolian oppressors (at least until the Soviet Union came calling.)

With its lavish battle scenes all filmed on the windswept Kazakh steppes, it has overtones of foreign-language blockbusters like Nomad and Mongol. The director, 39 year old Akan Satayev, is normally behind the camera for gangster films – including last year's Liquidator, which he made with British star Vinnie Jones.

An army of Mongol invaders proved curiously easy to direct.

"We had no problem with funding, we had no problem with money," he emphasises keenly. Seven million dollars, much of which was given by the Kazakh state, buys more helmets and horses than in Hollywood.

The stunts were provided by the native "Nomad" troupe of horse riders who have also worked on Conan the Barbarian and The Expendables, while open auditions were held in a national quest to find the young cast of the movie.

Myn Bala will receive an international launch for the world's press this spring, either at the Berlin or Cannes International Film Festival.

The Kazakh premiere will be on the day of Kazakh New Year, in March. But it's only at the forefront of the charge of films from the former Soviet Republic.

The same studio behind Myn Bala, Kazakhfilms, has 20 more films in pre-production – all are being made by directors under the age of 30.

Access unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Amazon Prime Video Sign up now for a 30-day free trial

Sign up

It seems that at last, film-wise, someone will really and properly Make Benefit for Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in