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The The Way to Mecca

Documentary Film
19 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Asel Zhuraeva, Tazar cinemacompany
Habibulla Aziretkulov
Dastan Zhapar uulu
Zhekshen Zhumashev
Asel Zhuraeva
Dastan Zhapar uulu
80-year-old Sulaiman Turdubayev from the village of Alga in the Kirghiz district of Kadamjay leads a modest, hard working life. Taking care of the vines in the garden is an effort and his wife with her bent back also makes very slow progress with the harvest. They rest in the evening sun. The ritual memorial of the Great Patriotic War, celebrated with lots of pomp and circumstance, is the one highlight in the even flow of their life. 120 young men from Alga lost their lives in that war. Sulaiman is one of the last two surviving veterans. And it is not before the end of this small, quiet study that we learn what the memory of the war really means to this strict Muslim...
Here is a voice worth listening to from a country which in the past few years was practically non-existent in the international documentary film landscape. Untainted by social romanticism it reminds us of something we may safely assume to be extinct in our part of the world: a deep, natural humility that is a source of contentment.
– Grit Lemke