Voices of the River

Voices of the River

A documentary film shot near the headwaters of the Naryn in the Kyrgyz mountains that follows a school teacher and a park ranger whose existence is intertwined with the river.

The Naryn is a critical river system not only where it flows through Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, but across much of Central Asia. Since the dawn of civilization, it has influenced regional economics, agriculture, ecology, history and modernity, and contributed to the formation and evolution of cultural identity and knowledge that prospered along the ancient Silk Road.

Bubukan Makilova and Kumarbek Talipov live at the source of the great river Naryn in the Kyrgyz mountains, where Bubukan teaches in the village school and Kumarbek protects the ecosystem, researching local flora and fauna and defending the environment from wildfires and poachers.

Year after year, century after century, nomadic tribes and peoples of Central Asia have migrated to the summer mountain pastures known as jailoo. Accompanied by their children, relatives and neighbors, Kumarbek and Bubukan ascend the green gorges with their herds to their own jailoo like their nomadic ancestors before them. But times have changed and Kumarbek and Bubukan find themselves forced to adapt.

Crew Members
Written and Directed by Malika Autalipova and Timur Nusimbekov
Director of Photography: Urmat Tendik
Camera Operators: Malika Autalipova, Timur Nusimbekov
Drone Operators: Urmat Tendik, Danil Usmanov
Editor: Balnura Nusipova
Colorist: Daniyar Armakayev
Music by Ulan Moldoyusupov
Soundtrack: “Kyrgyzym” by Askat Jetigen (recorded by Maanaibar)
Sound editor: Konstantin Kokhan
Text Editors and Translators: Eliza Balbakova (Kyrgyz), Valentina Michelotti (English)
Special thanks to Mirbek Kadraliyev, Ulan Usoiun, Danil Usmanov, Maanaibar.

The film was created as a part of the JerSu project, a longstanding eco-cultural project of the Adamdar/CA team focused on the key ecosystems and water sources of Central Asia. The project’s newest series is dedicated to the Naryn river and the people living on its shores.

*Voices of the River: Bubukan and Kumarbek was produced with the support of Arts Everywhere and Musagetes.

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