Outcast sister, brutal brother. Both will perish. For the landscape is rough and idyllic, and life in it is full of violence. Post-Soviet Kazakhstan is dominated by debts, corruption and a patriarchal way of thinking which – now seen in Zhanna Issabayeva's feminist cinema for the first time from the man's perspective – brings only one thing: misfortune.
Family trees are being drawn at school. The blackboard is not big enough for the others, but Timur's tree just consists of Mama & me. Aiganym, his mother, once went to the city to study; a man desired her, but did not want to marry her. She is now considered to be a whore by the family "at home". And yet she wants to go back, also for her son Timur’s benefit. The outcasts constantly come and stand together at the garden fence, asking – contrary to all the circumstances – for forgiveness. However, this fails to materialise, what’s more: she receives brutal blows from her mother and her brother in front of the child who then closes his mouth completely, maybe forever.
Issabayeva's radically anti-patriarchal cinema is characterized by an unbearable harshness and coldness befalling her characters – both actively and passively. The ballad REJECTED sees her focus taking in the constraints of man in a society which is about raising money, nepotism and the law of the jungle. And ideas about masculinity that are ruinous. BW
Alisher Yelikbayev, Zhanna Issabayeva, Saken Usser
+7 77 72 28 6995
Zhanna Issabayeva - born in 1968 in Almaty, UdSSR (today Kazakhstan). She has worked successfully as a producer and director since 1993, after graduating from the Faculty of Journalism of the State University of Kazakhstan. She made her debut in 2007 with her feature film KAROY and is not afraid to repeatedly address uncomfortable topics in her films.