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WorldAsiaWhy Western cinema dominates film distribution in Kyrgyzstan?

Why Western cinema dominates film distribution in Kyrgyzstan?


hit or miss

Before the collapse of the USSR, there were about 200 cinemas and movie theaters in the republic. After the declaration of sovereignty, most of them were privatized, reassigned or demolished. So, on the site of one of the largest cinemas in the country, a mosque was erected.

Today there are only 15 cinemas in Kyrgyzstan. Almost all of them are private, most of them are located in Bishkek, where they have to survive in difficult market conditions. And he dictates his own rules, about which 70% of the repertoire is Hollywood production. The Dream Factory films attract people with spectacle and special effects.
“Box office revenue depends on content, and therefore cinema revenue,” Almaz Kaiypov, head of the Association of Cinema Owners of the Kyrgyz Republic, told RG Correspondent. – We have no other sources of income. But this situation is observed not only in our country. Today, Hollywood films dominate in many countries. Even in France, a country which is the cradle of cinema and which has long been the leader of European cinema. Today, it is also retreating under pressure from the American film industry. In the cinematographic market of this country, national films represent only 20%. As for the repertoire of our cinemas, it depends entirely on the demand generated by the public. The vast majority of them are young people who grew up with all kinds of trends and comics. Therefore, they taste the same.

According to Almaz Kaiypov, the American film industry has come a long way and it is almost impossible to catch up with it today. Even the giants of Asian cinema cannot resist the onslaught of Hollywood. Moreover, even large financial injections are hardly capable of reversing the trend.

Film distribution also includes the production of Kyrgyz directors. True, they still cannot compete with foreign films. In terms of content, these films are closer to real life, they have more positive and sensuality, but not so many effects. Although in fairness it must be said that the works of Kyrgyz filmmakers at international film festivals are often among the winners. However, while film critics rate them highly, the same cannot be said for audiences. The same can be said of Russian films. Good films from the Russian Federation in cinemas in Kyrgyzstan are rare. The last time the film directed by Dmitry Dyachenko “Cheburashka” was shown with great success in the republic.

Meanwhile, the Association of Film and Television Producers of the Russian Federation explained that they cooperate with Kyrgyz distributors, but offers from the latter are not as frequent as we would like.

Like in the movies

We are now going to put aside the commercial side of the question and move on to the moral. Psychologists say that despite the dominance of the Internet, cinema is still an art form that can influence human personality. Moreover, this influence can be both positive and negative.
“Cinema can serve as an impetus for the formation of a young person’s personality,” psychologist Tatyana Akifyeva explained to the RG correspondent. – I saw the performance of the famous Russian actor Dmitry Pevtsov, who, in my opinion, set an impressive example. According to him, after the premiere of the film “Officers”, the phrase “There is such a profession – to defend the fatherland” became the motto of many guys. Competition for admission to military schools has increased fivefold. Today, the question arises quite reasonably: what do Hollywood horror stories teach? If now we don’t ensure that children’s lives are filled with kindness, love, honesty, then we will lose an entire generation. In the meantime, our young people live with a negative agenda.

The cinema raised more than one generation. In Soviet times, the film became an event in its own right. It was mentioned in the press, during a break at work, in the family circle. Now the situation is somewhat different, although the role of cinema in character formation is still huge. It all depends on what the person is looking at.

  • “Young Guard”, “Quiet Flows the Don”, “They fought for their fatherland”, the films of Vasily Shukshin or Andrei Konchalovsky caused a storm of emotions and controversy, as if what was happening on stage was not the author’s fiction, but real events, – says the famous director, honored worker Cultures of Kyrgyzstan Zamirbek Eraliev. – In our republic, domestic films began to be shot in the 1960s. This is because of their plots, which are based on life situations, human actions, because the main thing is not the game, but the life of the actor in the frame, they made a huge impression on the audience. These tapes were later called the “Kyrgyz miracle”. Cinema is still a favorite art form for people. Another question is what films are being made today and how well they reflect modern life and dreams of the future. Cinema right now is installing violence in people’s psyches. These scenes are also taken from life, but why promote them? On the other hand, if you take the film “Come and See”, which made a strong impression on the viewer, then there are also scenes of violence. However, this manifests itself in a negative way. In other words, people understood that it was bad. And now shots of murder or rape are only added for effect.

According to Zamirbek Eraliev, Soviet cinema has always been different from Western cinema: while the former was dominated by humanistic principles, the latter was more oriented towards entertainment in order to impress the audience.

Additional ticket

While film critics are more or less delicate in their judgments of Western film production, public figures are mostly adamant. They believe that Hollywood cinema is a kind of propaganda tool that manipulates human consciousness using technology. And it does this secretly, at the level of emotions that are beyond the control of consciousness.
– One of the goals of Western cinema is the formation of values, and often they differ from what we are used to, – explained public figure Mairam Zeidrakhanova. – However, something else is much more dangerous – the deliberate imposition of certain values, which, unfortunately, became evident not so long ago. One of them is the liquidation of the family as a traditional institution and the formation of a certain unified technocratic culture, led by a syndicate of corporations. Or take, for example, films about the Great Patriotic War. For some reason, the main role in the victory over Nazism is assigned to the United States.


Ayturgan Temirova, People’s Artist of the Kyrgyz Republic:

  • If we want to raise a full-fledged young generation who will love their country and defend it when necessary, it is impossible to focus the attention of the general public only on spectacular films. But then we can lose the film distribution industry. If only Western films are shown, it will negatively affect the education of young people. I see a way out in state support for cinemas. After all, in addition to making money, they have another purpose – educational. To do this, at the box office it is necessary to show films from the school program, classics – both Kyrgyz and Russian, tapes dedicated to historical dates. This is where state support would come in handy.

Why not organize evenings of classic Russian or Kyrgyz cinema? The Ministry of Culture could be the organizer of such shows. I would understand if they said that such a film does not exist. But it’s there, just collecting dust on the shelf.

I’m sure our children shouldn’t be raised according to someone else’s ideology. Now everyone criticizes the Soviet censorship, which banned the screening of certain films or introduced age restrictions for films in which there were many scenes of violence, because this traumatized the psyche and aroused aggression . And now, in almost every film, there are murders, more than frank sex scenes, and all this, alas, is in the order of things.

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