Documentary, 58 min. Year: 2000

A story about dreams and the manipulative power of films in a chaotic Kyrgyzstan, seen through the eyes of two cinema projectionists.

The Kyrgyz town of Naryn is preparing for the 1000-year anniversary of Manas, their national hero. The complicated preparations are upset as a group of Islamic rebels invade Kyrgyzstan. The work and dreams of the film's protagonists, projectionists named Zarylbek and Murat, epitomise the present and the past in Kyrgyzstan, struggling through a process of transition. Through their eyes, we see a story that reflects the manipulative power that films exert on a colourful people influenced by socialism, the market economy, the Islamic faith and their nomadic culture.


- Theatrical distribution in Finland
- International distribution American Fox Lorber Winstar Inc.


Selected for 20 international film festivals, including:
- Joris Ivens Competition, International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), The Netherlands, 2000
- Nordic Film Competition, Hot Docs - Canadian International Documentary Festival, Canada, 2001
- Göteborg International Film Festival, Sweden, 2001


- The Finnish State Quality Production Award, 2001


Original idea: Richard Manin, Carlo Cresto-Dina
Director and screenwriter: Arto Halonen
Cinematography: Pini Hellstedt
Camera assistant: Kalle Penttilä
Editor: Olli Soinio
Assistant editor: Vesa Meronen
Sound designers: Jyrki Rahkonen, Jussi Olkinuora
Sound assistant: Heikki Kossi
Sound mixing: Olli Pärnänen
Executive producer: Kristiina Pervilä
Production company: Millennium Film

Full crew

Full-length synopsis

The situation in Kyrgyzstan

The national hero Manas

Thoughts from the heights of Tibet and Kyrgyzstan

The last composition of Edward Vesala

The last film of Halonen’s Asia series

 Review by Vadim Rizov (on