Kazakhstan and Georgia have produced ‘More than love’, a joint romantic comedy that depicts a story happening on the margins of the Great Patriotic War.
Two scouts, Georgian Vano, and Kazakh Bakhytzhan, returning from the mission, fall under the air raid. Vano at the cost of his life saves Bakhytzhan. At the bedside of a dying comrade, Vano swears their children will be related. However, Vano could not fulfill his promise, and now the vows of his grandchildren will have to be fulfilled. The grandson of Vano, Buba, leaves Tbilisi for Almary to find granddaughter Bakhytzhan and marry her. Buba's elder sister Nino joins her brother on his trip to Kazakhstan. Because of Buba’s frivolity, young people lose a note with the address of Bakhytzhan’s descendants. And then the real adventure begins.
'Georgians have a very long memory. We remember not only how we fought together with the Kazakhs on the fronts of the Great Patriotic War, but also how during the time of Tsar David along with the Kipchaks ancient Tbilisi was defended from the Seljuks', director Giorgi Kikaleishvili said.
The picture was co-directed by Zhenis Tumatayev from Kazakhstan.
‘For me, this film is not only about the feelings of two young people, but also about the relationship between the cultures of our two countries, our differences and similarities, our history, values, and traditions', Zhenis Tumatayev told Daryo.
Filming took place during the pandemic. In the vicinity of Tbilisi, military scenes and the Georgian part of the story were filmed. Then the film crew moved to Almaty, where locations for filming became landmark in the history of the city: Almaty hotel, Medeu skating rink, circus, etc.
‘The filming was not easy. There was a curfew in Georgia, there were no direct flights, and every three days the whole group took PCR tests, and there were difficulties with permission to shoot. The same restrictions applied in Kazakhstan. But we did it, executive producer Kairat Makzhanov stressed.
The roles in the picture were played by Farhat Abdraimov (Fara), Sharip Serik, Tolepbergen Baisakalov, Azat Seitmetov, Danagul Temirsultanova, Karlygash Isabekova, Tauekel Musilim. Georgian actors include Natia Tsitsilashvili, Ilya Chkhaidze, and Zurab Kipshidze. Patriarch of Georgian Cinema Vakhtang Kikabidze also took part in the film.
The most difficult role went to Tolepbergen Baisakalov; he performed the two taxi drivers in Tbilisi and Almaty.
'It was easy for me to get into the role of taxi driver Tolik because my character represents the similarity between our two countries. We have many more things in common than it may seem at first glance’, Tolepbergen Baisakalov said.
Actor Sharip Serik performed in an unusual role for himself. Kazakh viewers will soon discover him as a romantic hero.
‘My hero Azamat is the right guy, the classic “son of my mother’s friend.” He is passionate about playing the dombra, directs a children's musical orchestra in an orphanage, and dreams of meeting a good girl, not suspecting what fate has prepared for him. A thin storyline from which one cannot deviate a single step,’ Sharip Serik said.
It so happened that participation in the film was the last film role of the popular Kazakh actor Farhat Abdraimov. The favorite of the audience suddenly died on the set in Tbilisi. Vakhtang Kikabidze also passed away in recent days.
‘After reading the script, I immediately realized that I needed to help the guys in order to realize this project. An amazing light feeling - that's what the viewer will get after watching the film. The history of the heroes is almost fabulous, and the coincidence of circumstances is almost unbelievable, but the questions that the heroes face are understandable and close to everyone. I think it is precisely such films about the good and bright in us that people now want to watch’, the general producer of the film Gadzhi Gadzhiev said.
The premiere of the film is set to begin on March 9.
Svetlana Shesternyova, Almaty