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Titles and names in bold print contain more complete information
France / Kazakhstan, 2007, 86 mn 


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Directed by : Darezhan OMIRBAYEV (Дарежан ОМИРБАЕВ)
Writing credits : Darezhan OMIRBAYEV (Дарежан ОМИРБАЕВ)
Cinematography : Boris TROSHEV (Борис ТРОШЕВ)
Other persons :
Sound : Olivier DANDRE, D. VIEILLARD
Production : Kazakhfilm, Kadam, PBFilms

Plot synopsis
Chouga is a beautiful, rich and beloved young woman. She is thirty and lives in Astana, the Kazak new capital. She is married to a famous scientist in his sixties and has a seven-year-old son. Her brother and sister-in-law live in Almaty. The couple is tearing apart and Chouga’s brother requests her to come and try to bring them back together. There she meets rich and idle young man Ablaï whom she strongly feels attracted to. Once back to Astana, Chouga tries to withstand this sensual attraction about which she has a premonition of a tragic out come.
"Shuga" is freely adapted from Leon Tolstoy‘s novel "Anna Karenina".
This film, perhaps Darejan Omirbaev’s most beautiful one, brilliantly manages to describe the rifts in Kazakhstan today through a story from classical literature. The country’s capitals, the former and the recent ones, are truly full characters. Fallen into the clutches of their destiny, the heroes of the film can only obey what their environment seems to expect from them.
Source : Festival International du Cinéma Asiatique, 2012

Commentaries and bibliography
Darejan Omirbaev : Shuga (2007), Alyssa DEBLASIO, Review,, 2008
Chouga is a relationship drama inspired by Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, set in contemporary Kazakhstan. It offers its audience not only a look into everyday life of the Kazakh nouveau riche, but also a view of the streets of the new and fast-developing capital, Astana. Shuga (an excellent Aïnur Turganbaeva) has been asked to come to Almata as a troubleshooter for her brother's marriage in crisis. She herself is safely married to a rich businessman with whom she has a son. Her arrival at Almaty though means an unexpected meeting with the young and handsome Ablai. This meeting leads to an unexpected turn in her life. Meanwhile, the life of Ablai's fiancée follows its own path. When the troubles of Shuga's brother settle down and Shuga returns home in Astana, she finds herself caught in an existential dilemma. She decides to leave her husband as Anna Karenina did, and later finds herself in similar doubts. Life becomes complicated on all fronts. The atmosphere throughout the film succeeds in joining the ideas of the classic novel in the changed society of Kazakhstan. The New Kazakh Way master Omirbaev continues to make films with his minimalist film language, where every small movement bears a meaning and each simple shot is rich with atmosphere. (LC)
Source :

Selected in the following festivals :
- Vesoul International Asiatic Film Festival, Vesoul (France), 2012
- Rabat International Film Festival, Rabat (Morocco), 2008
- International debut film festival, Khanty Mansiysk (Russia), 2008

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