A Dark, Dark Man

Director: Adilkhan Yerzhanov,  Writers: Roelof Jan Minneboo, Adilkhan Yerzhanov, Production: Arizona Productions, Short Brothers, Producer: Guillaume de Seille, Serik Abishev, Olga Khlasheva, Associate producer: Tolegen Baitukenov Executive Producer: Ernar Kurmashev & Akan Satayev Kazakhstan/France, Language: Russian and Kazakh, 2021, 3×45′, Rights: World No France

“A Kazakh interpretation of film noir

Adilkhan Yerzhanov

Bekzat (Daniar Alshinov) is a young policeman who already knows all the tricks of the corruption of the Kazakh steppes.
Charged with covering up a new case of fatal assaults on little boys, he is embarrassed by the intervention of Ariana (Dinara Baktybaeva) a defiant and determined journalist.

The certainties of the steppe cowboy wavers.

Directors Statement

The Director says he was inspired by the philosopher Montesquieu because he is one of the first philosophers to study the
state power on the basis of morality. The director also says he was more inspired by French film noir than Hollywood style thrillers. In making the film he says that he adds a contradictory internal tension at the heart of the character to make it more
living. If the character is weak, add some strength. If the character is too masculine, we must add femininity. It’s about
building complex characters. All the rest is secondary. When asked about the use of humour in his film he says: “For me, humour is a saviour. During the plague in Europe, people believed that a good mood would protect against illness. So, some villages decided to have fun as the plague spread from the field … In my films, humour helps.”


“Adilkhan Yerzhanov’s moving, masterly thriller is a stunning noir laced with pitch-black comedy, with starkly beautiful set pieces from the opening shot. The acting is excellent, while the corrosive culture of intimidation and bribery, and the near-impossible challenges of overthrowing it, is superbly depicted.”    The Barbican


Daniyar Alshinov, Dinara Baktybayeva, Teoman Khos, Adema Yerzhanova,
Yerken Gubashev, Nurbek Mukushev, Yerzhan Dzhamankulov, Talgat Sydykbekov,
Nurlan Arystan, (Russian, Kazakh dialogue)

Directors Bio

Born in 1982 in Djekazgan in Kazakhstan, Adilkhan Yerzhanov studies at the Academy national arts from where he graduated in 2009 in cinema production. After three remarkable short films, hedirects several feature films: REALTORS (2011) is presented in international competition at the Dubai Festivals, Almaty and Porto Alegre. He gets the Prize
special jury in Kinoshock (Anapa) and St. Petersburg, the Grand Prix in Seoul and in Kinolikbek. He won the Kulager, Prix du
best Kazakh first film. CONSTRUCTORS is presented in competition in Wiesbaden then in Edinburgh in
2013. OWNERS is invited to a special session of the Official Selection of the Cannes Film Festival
in 2014 then obtained the Free Spirit Prize at Warsaw, a special mention at the Festival of Chicago, the NETPAC Prize at the
Beirut and the Special Jury Prize in Minsk. THE PLAGUE OF THE VILLAGE OF KARATAS is invited to Rotterdam in 2016 where he obtained the NETPAC Prize then in Sochi where he obtains the Grand prix. NIGHT GOD is presented in competition at Moscow Festival in 2018. THE GENTLE INDIFFERENCE OF THE WORLD is presented in the Official Selection of the Festival of Cannes, Un Certain Regard in 2018. ATBAI’S FIGHT is presented in competition in Warsaw in 2019 then in Friborg in March 2020. A DARK, DARK MAN is presented in San Sebastián Festival competition
in 2019 and receives the Best achievement at the Asia pacific screen awards 2019. YELLOW CAT and Ulbolsyn are recent films and he has two more films in post-production.


Asia Pacific Screen Awards 2019 | Winner
Asia Pacific Screen | Award Achievement in Directing
Asian Film Festival Barcelona 2020 | Winner
NETPAC | Award for Best Film
Bergen International Film Festival 2019 | Nominee Cinema Extraordinaire 
Vesoul Asian Film Festival 2020 | Winner Theater Manager Award
SAN SEBASTIÁN 2019 | In Competition