Sergey Dvortsevoy’s second feature follows the life of a Kyrgyzstani migrant in the snowy Sobyanin-era Moscow. The role of Ayka brought Samal Yeslyamova a Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival.
Ayka runs off from the hospital after giving birth, because she knows she won’t be able to support a child. She wants to make a living, but the jobs she finds are either unpaid or too hard. To make things worse, she has borrowed money to start a sewing workshop from the local mafia. Ayka’s story unfolds against the backdrop of Moscow, which, like any other big city, is well off, bustling and slightly tiring, blind to human suffering during its as it prepares to host a World Cup.
Shot over six years, Sergey Dvortsevoy’s film is not a story about the hardships of migrant life in Moscow. The life of workers from Central Asia in the Russian capital can indeed be unbearable, which is well reflected in the film. However, Ayka is primarily a story about being human: its protagonist is not a helpless victim, but a strong woman, who remains human in the hardest situations.
The screening will be followed by a discussion with Sergey Dvortsevoy.
Director: Sergey Dvortsevoy
Russia, Germany, Poland, China, Kazakhstan, 2018. 100 min. 16+
The event is part of the 5th International Conference Migration, Movement of Population and Urban Development organized by the Russian Council for International Affairs, RANEPA Centre for Political Science, and the International Committee of the Red Cross.