Archive of films Gastarbeiter / Gastarbajtěr

2009, 88 min

Section: East of the West - Competition
Year: 2010

Sadyk’s grandson has disappeared in Russia as one of thousands of Uzbeks who travel there for work. The old man sets out for Moscow unaware of the contents of the package he is carrying for his benefactor. Despite a mishap involving drug smuggling, he doesn’t give up his search for his grandson. Vika, a prostitute who’s been around the block, tries to help but she’s on the run from the Mafia....


An Uzbek town fallen on hard times. Everyone longs for jobs in Russia that are mediated by a local businessman named Karym. Aman, who used his services, hasn’t contacted his family in a long time. Disturbed by his grandson’s silence, Sadyk goes to see Karym, who sends the old war veteran to Moscow with a package for a certain man who will find Aman. He’s sure the customs officers won’t notice the old man. At night the police raid a boarding house for gastarbeiters. In return for a passport allowing her to travel to Romania, Moldavian prostitute Vika warned the police about a shipment of drugs. After being interrogated, Sadyk, a former defender of Moscow, is released and deported from Russia. But the worldly Vika, for a promised reward but also out of compassion, sets out with Sadyk in search of Aman. Their harrowing journey records not only the old man’s pure character and turbulent past, but also the brutal cooperation between greater and lesser mafias in the post-Soviet arena – a force demoralizing society through corruption and crime.

About the director

Yusup Razykov (b. 1947, Tashkent, Uzbekistan) graduated in screenwriting from Moscow’s VGIK film school in 1986. His feature debut Orator (Voiz, 1999 - KVIFF 2000), in which he pilloried the hypocrisy and eagerness of a naïve revolutionary, received the Russian Critics’ Prize. He treated the subject of polygyny, topical once again, in the pointedly critical film Women’s Kingdom (Zhenskoye tsarstvo, 2000). As director of the Tashkent studio of Uzbekfilm he shot the internationally successful Comrade Boykenzhayev (O’rtok Boykenzhayev, 2002 - KVIFF 2003), a dark work of the grotesque evoking the obtuseness, primitivism, and obsequiousness of Soviet era functionaries. In Gastarbeiter he turns a critical eye on the decay of contemporary social conditions under the influence of a widespread mafia presence.


"AMA" Film Company
Arbat Str. 35, office 546, 119002, Moscow
Tel: +7 499 248 2833

About the film

Color, 35 mm
International premiere

Section: East of the West - Competition
Director: Yusup Razykov
Screenplay: Jusup Razykov / Yusup Razykov
Dir. of Photography: Michail Iskandarov / Mikhail Iskandarov
Editor: Denis Luzanov
Producer: Vladimir Malyšev / Vladimir Malyshev, Andrej Malyšev / Andrey Malyshev
Production: "AMA” Film Company
Cast: Bachadyr Boltajev / Bakhadyr Boltaev, Darja Gorškaljova / Daria Gorshkaleva, Natalija Grebjonkina / Natalia Grebenkina
Contact: "AMA" Film Company


Vladimir Malyshev


Daria Gorshkaleva



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