One of the leaders of the Kazakh New Wave, Amirkulov graduated from the University of Alma Ata and joined the university’s philological faculty before embarking on his film career. He studied cinema at VGIK in Moscow, but little in his resume prepared the world for The Fall of Otrar in 1991. A sweeping historical epic, the film is unique in style and perspective. It follows the march of Genghis Khan’s forces over helpless Asian cities until he meets fierce resistance in the small city of Otrar. The Fall of Otrar received the Special Jury Prize at the Montreal International Film Festival, and it is still screened in festivals and film retrospectives around the world. Since 1996, Amirkulov has lectured in directing at the cinematographic institute of Alma Ata. He is also the director of Kazachfilm Studio. —Seagull Films
War and Remembrance: The Films of Aleksei Guerman is “among the most important retrospectives in years.”
The Russian maverick has passed away at 74. From our archives, coverage of his 2012 NYC retrospective.