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Ayka Ayka

Sergej Dvorcevoj / Kazakhstan, Russia, China, Germany, Poland / 2018 / 100 min / Russian, Kirghiz

A raw, intimate drama about an impoverished young Kyrgyz woman trying to survive in Moscow after abandoning her new-born baby. The Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actress.

festivals, awards Cannes 2018 (Best Actress)


A young Kyrgyz girl, Ayka, lives and works illegally in Moscow. After giving birth to her first child, she doesn’t feed the infant but stages an impromptu breakout through the window of the maternity ward. Over the course of the next few days, she goes searching for a job all the while trying to keep the birth secret. She finds work at a chicken processing facility, only to learn that her boss has decided to skip town without paying his employees. This sets in motion a new wave of anxiety for the young woman, who needs to pay off her menacing creditors. While searching for a way to make money, her motherly yearning leads her to desperate attempts at finding the abandoned child.

"It began with a dry newspaper statistic: “In 2010 in maternity hospitals in Moscow, 248 babies were given up by mothers from Kyrgyzstan.” I was in shock for a long time after reading this: How could it be? What could be the reason behind Kyrgyz mothers voluntarily giving up their babies en masse, abandoning them in a foreign country? /.../  This film is about all of us: about what happens when relations between a person and their environment reach such extremes that the he or she begins to deteriorate morally." (Sergey Dvortsevoy)

Sergey Dvortsevoy
Born in Chimkent, Kazakhstan, in 1962. Graduated from the Aviation College in Ukraine and the Electrotechnical Institute in Novosibirsk. First making a living as a pilot and an air engineer, he later took up studies of directing and scriptwriting at the Moscow Film School, graduating in 1993. Ayka is his second feature fiction film.


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