Film on Nazarbayev’s early life released in Kazakhstan

April 15. Central Asia Newswire

Film on Nazarbayev’s early life released in KazakhstanA film on Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s early life ‘The Sky of My Childhood’ was released in Kazakhstan Thursday, the Associated Press (AP) news agency reported.

Three actors play Nazarbayev in the movie which traces his upbringing to adolescence, while the president himself appears briefly in the film.

The plot shows him as a young boy living with his shepherd family in a Kazakh tent dwelling called a “yurt” in the Tian Shan mountains in southeastern Kazakhstan.

Nazarbayev is shown as a youth who respects his elders and a conscientious pupil at school, yet is cheerful and playful.

Movie director Rustem Abdrashov defended his sympathetic portrayal of Nazarbayev against criticism that the movie was aimed at building a personality cult around the president.

“There should be no talk of a personality cult. We don’t have Stalinist torture chambers here and people are not starving in prison camps,’’ the news agency quoted Abdrashov as saying.

Nazarbayev, who has led the Central Asian republic for two decades, won a landslide presidential victory last week with 95 percent of the vote. Opposition leaders said they were given no time to mount a viable campaign to challenge the incumbent president.

Yet despite calls by opposition parties and movements for voters to boycott the polling stations on April 3 a record 90 percent of the voting public turned up to vote on election day.

While viewing “The Sky of My Childhood” premier in Astana last week Nazarbayev burst into tears, the news agency cited Yermek Amanshayev, president of Kazakhfilm production company, as saying.