28th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Atirkül in the Land of Real Men
Atirkül in the Land of Real Men
Atirkül in the Land of Real Men
Atirkül in the Land of Real Men
Atirkül in the Land of Real Men

Atirkül in the Land of Real Men

director: Janyl Jusupjan
original title: Atirkül in the Land of Real Men
country: France, Czech Republic, Kyrgyzstan
year: 2023
running time: 65 min.


In the vast plains of Kyrgyzstan, men have been cultivating a group sport with a long tradition. The aim of the game buzkashi is to steal the trophy of a dead goat from the rival team of riders, all while staying on horseback. Into this tough masculine world enters Atirkül, a woman with an enterprising spirit and a sense of humour. The film follows the everyday life of the headstrong horse lover Atirkül, whose ambition is to build her own buzkashi team of local young men to preserve the heritage of her native region. The ethnographic perspective alternates with a purely personal one, gradually revealing the possibilities of overcoming gender roles

“They say it’s not for women! This makes me feel insecure. But I don’t care, I just follow my heart.”


Janyl Jusupjan is from Kyrgyzstan. After studying literature in Kazakhstan, she worked as an editor at Radio Free Europe in Prague. Since 2015, she has been making independent documentary films. Her film Letters from the Pamirs (2016) was screened at the One World Film Festival, Traces de Vies in France and received grand prix at Bir Duino Film festival in Kyrgyzstan. The Prisoner of Wakhan (2023) had its world premiere on the One World Festival and both films were acquired by Current Time TV/USA for Russian language territories.

more about film

director: Janyl Jusupjan
producer: Christian Lelong, Janyl Chytyrbaeva, Alice Tabery
photography: Christian Lelong, Janyl Chytyrbaeva
editing: François Sculier
music: Atai Kai
sound: Martin Stýblo
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Creative Europe Media
Česká televize
Český rozhlas