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Two couples, one Russian and one Kazakh, live side by side in relative harmony in a beautiful yet semi-desolate region of the Great Steppe. But when the fair-skinned Russians give birth to a boy of decidedly darker skin, fifteen years of suspicion and acrimony arises between them, and can only be resolved by an ironic twist of family and fate. At times darkly somber, at other times tender and wistful—and buoyed throughout by a soundtrack of folk-inspired melodies—writer-director Marat Sarulu draws on Kazakhstan’s epic history to create a gritty and deeply compassionate tale of humor and cultural insight.
Song From the Southern Seas is a Global Lens film presented by the Global Film Initiative
The Global Film Initiative's mission is to promote cross-cultural understanding through cinema. Since its founding, GFI has awarded over 60 grants to filmmakers from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, and is sponsor and distributor of the Global Lens film series, now playing in more than 35 cities nationwide. Watch a trailer for Global Lens' 2009 touring program!
Special thanks to our funder:
“My story is a reflection upon issues created by our cultural and ethnical sense of belonging. The inside logic of the story drove me to realise that any form of classification is a childish and dangerous illusion that will lead one to fear, hostility and oppression. The modern world has now exploded into conflicting components disguised behind the fictitious slogans of tolerance and political correctness.
“During the first immigration wave of Kazakh and Central Asian Russians. Many left the region, which created a severe disconnection from a whole culture based upon neighbourhood ties, integration and traditions that had been manifested over centuries. Many fell sick and died during the first years of their immigration. Young people, more resilient, had the chance to survive. Every now and then some would go back home, unable to cope with the different customs, lifestyle, climate of their new land in which they terribly missed their home and their usual circle of friends.
“I grew up in a multi-ethnic culture, with its qualities and pitfalls, its excesses and its wealth, its barbaric ways and its sweet kindness all mingled together. I was not raised in any particular faith and I consider myself, to quote CG Jung, an “out-of-faith believer”. That is why I’m so moved to see that man comes into this world as a free being and then limits himself with these “acquired” differences, may they be ethnical, religious, social, political and ideological. The world broken up in antagonistic particles: that is the lethal inheritance we get, the malediction of the human race.
“I believe that the ideas and the problems mentioned in the script stand out in an even sharper way upon this background of angst. Men all belong to the same race, to the same family, and this is the outcome of my characters’ personal quest.”
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