Abai and Zhambyl:
The Reconstruction and Decolonisation of National Past in Soviet and Post-Soviet Kazakhstan
Keywords:Абай Кунанбайулы, Жамбыл Жабаев, Ауэзов, Казахстан, казахское кино, советское кино, советский ориентализм, деколонизация, исторический фильм, байопик
This research examines the portrayal of Kazakh historical figures in Soviet and post-Soviet cinema, focusing on four films about two iconic Kazakh poets – Abai Qunanbaiuly and Zhambyl Zhabaev. The study draws on archival material and textual analysis to provide valuable insights into the process of constructing Soviet, Marxist-Orientalist historical narratives in The Songs of Abai (1945) and Zhambyl (1953). In the example of films Abai (1995) and The Youth of Zhambyl (1996), it examines how Kazakhstan sought to decolonise and reclaim its identity by breaking free from the Soviet-era Orientalist gaze.
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