The Fly Up

Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. 2002. 10 min. Color and b/w.
35 mm, DOLBY: SRD Digital
Kino (Kazakhstan) and Studio Kumai (Krygyzstan).
In Kyrgyz, no subtitles. English credits.
Director and scriptwriter: Marat Sarulu
Camera: Kadyrzhan Kydyraliev and Talant Akynbekov
Artistic direction: Shailobek Dzhekshenbaev
Composer: Baktybek Alisherov
Sound: Bakyt Nizaliev
Starring: Gapar Akylbekob, Assol' Abdullina, Mukhambet Toktabaev

The film's title, The Fly Up, refers to the elegant ride on a wind glider that lifts the hero of Sarulu's short film away from the banalities of everyday contemporary Kyrgyz life. By means of two opposing stylistic systems, Sarulu gracefully shifts from depictions of a trapped life, one bounded by the confined spaces of work, home, and the overbearing community to images of freedom and personal autonomy. Black and white film, high-angle shots of the protagonist, incomprehensible noise of screaming masses, and metaphors of incarceration (for example, the repeated portrayal of the hero behind the bars) suggest the limitations for an individual within the society. However, within this meditation on the classic question of the society versus the individual, it is ultimately, in this instance, the individual that wins. As the protagonist makes his way from the village center to the countryside, black and white gives way to color, the camera shifts its position from a vertical to horizontal axis, and the noise of heckling crowds is replaced first by inspired, operatic music, and finally by the sounds of the wind that carry the film's hero away.


Marat Sarulu (b. 1957), along with Aktan Abdykalykov, is one of the two significant contemporary Kyrgyz directors. Having graduated from Kyrgyz State University in 1980 with a philological degree, Sarulu moved to Moscow to completed advanced courses on screenwriting and directing.



1991 Face to Face
1994 The Hunter's Family
1995 The Snowy Train Station

Artist-producer and director of animated film

1989 Praying for the Purest Bird


1993 In Spe (screened at International Film Festival at Sochi in 1994 as well as at the festival of Central Asian cinema in Japan, 1994)
1999 Mandala (short)
2000 My Brother, The Silk Road
2002 The Fly Up (short)

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