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Assel Aushakimova

Assel Aushakimova





Feature film




1 h 35 mins

Previous Festivals/Awards


International Showcase


Asian, Lesbian, Muslim / Islam, RE:Focus

Don’t be misled by the title. This debut feature by Kazakhstani director Assel Aushakimova is a memorial not to the United States but to the director’s home country and the tortuous navigation it takes to be queer in a former Soviet republic.

In the opening shots, Aliya (Saltanat Nauruz) is shocked when she learns she has been accepted as a permanent U.S. resident in the famed Green Card Lottery. After receiving the life-changing news, we follow the introspective thirty something for several days as she evaluates every aspect of her life: her ailing mother, her unhappy sister who is trapped in a strict Muslim marriage, her inscrutable lover, the secretiveness it takes to be a lesbian in Kazakh society, and the country’s corruption and subtle abuses.

With sharp observance and in a beautifully shot documentary style, Aushakimova avoids soapy clichés and, in their place, has us sit with Aliya’s family and friends, all of whom she can, if she wants, leave behind.

Oct 1st, Noon to Oct 11th, 11:59 PM (ET)

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