Kirghize, Ouzbek, Russe, Anglais (sous-titres Français, Anglais, Russe)
Avec la participation du CNC Aide à la production avant réalisation
Avec le soutien de la Région Ile-de-France
En association avec ARTE France - La Lucarne
sélection dans la section Forum Berlinale du 15 au 25 février 2018
Au Kirghizistan, le film part à la recherche de Djamilia, le personnage principal du roman de Tchinghiz AÏtmatov, une jeune fille en rupture avec les règles de la société khirghize. Nous rencontrons des femmes qui nous parlant de Djamilia, libèrent une parole intime, nous parlent de leurs désirs, de rèles et de liberté.
The film, set in Kirghizstan, is a search for Jamilia, the title character in the novella by Chingiz Aitmatov about a young woman who rebels against the rules of Kirghiz society. We will meet women who, in talking about Jamilia, reveal their own private lives and desires, the rules they chafe under and their ideas of freedom.
“Djamilia” portrays a country through the prism of these women’s stories, describing what their lives are like in a country where the patriarchal system curbs their freedom to work, desire, love live or dream. Jamilia speaks about women and lets women speak for themselves. About resistance, and about freedom they find in unexpected places, despite the restraints and limitations imposed on them. The film proposes a different relationship with time, allowing us to grasp a desire for elsewhere and for rebellion, offering a poetical reading of a world open to invention and sensuality.
I shot this film with a Super 8 camera. The constraints of the medium affected my presence and my relationship to the places and the people filmed. I thought of the shoot as a form of observation and participation in daily life. In order to capture fleeting moments insightfully. I like to form long-lasting relationships: along with my interpreter Shanoza, I filmed in Kirghiz villages over the course of several years. The resulting image doesn’t look like Super 8 in the usual “old-fashioned” film style. I wanted to use the sensuality of this kind of film, with its physical, moving matter that sometimes gives the impression that the image is being created before our very eyes, as if our gaze had the power to bring the images to life.
I wanted to get as close as possible to these women’s reality and make it perceptible from the inside. The format allowed me to be in between: within both real life and the film as physical material; to use this impressionist material, the texture of the film, the density of colors and contrast with its micro-variations, as though I were composing music. Gil Savoy and I worked on the sound together from the very start of the film editing process, in order to compose a coherent whole. There was constant, mutual feedback between film and sound editing. The image does not take priority over the sound, or the voices: all three registers are meant to co-exist.
The context of the novella’s publication:
Jamila was written by Chinghiz Aitmatov in 1958. Louis Aragon came across it in the literary journal “Novy Mir,” and decided to translate it into French (it wasn’t translated into English until the 2000’s). The novella was published in a specific and somewhat unusual context: political authorities controlled all publishing, while also developing schools and education across the USSR. The paradox was that “Jamilia” become a classic despite the fact that the main, title character broke all the rules, defying the authority of both her father and the village leader. “Jamilia” had been part of the Soviet school curriculum since 1960. Since Kirghizstan obtained independence, in 1990, it has continued to be studied in schools there with the same kind of respect granted to Victor Hugo’s work in France, Shakespeare’s in Great Britain, etc. Thus Kirghiz, everyone – men, women and children of all ages – know “Jamila.”