Looking like a fairy‐tale queen, Kelin (Gulsharat Zhubayeva) is about to be married. High in the Altai Mountains of Kazakhstan, her father bargains with two suitors who are each vying for her hand. Unfortunately, her true love, Mergyen (Kuandyk Kystykbaev), loses out to the richer bachelor, Baktashi (Erzhan Nurymbet). Before losing the competition however, Mergyen takes a blood oath to eventually claim Kelin for his own. In this prehistoric time, women are a valuable commodity and Kelin is the most beautiful and precious thing in their community.
Kelin is delivered to her husbandʹs family home, a yurt inhabited by his mother, Ene (Turakhan Sadykova), and his younger brother Kaini (Nurzhan Turganbaev). The young wife soon abandons herself to her husbandʹs caresses and learns that marriage, even to someone you didnʹt actually choose, has its rewards. Mesmerized by the power of her own sexuality, she comes to enjoy the nightly routine and smiles through her day – at least until Mergyen, comes back into her life.
Kelin is a passionate tale of love, betrayal, and survival. It is timeless, beautiful, and moving, all enhanced by the absence of words. Relying solely on visuals to tell this story, director Ermek Tursunov forces us to closely examine these extraordinary characters.
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