A Quest for Happiness

Kazakhstan Movie Happiness (Baqyt) screened at 53rd IFFI, Goa

‘Happiness’ drags us to the wretched reality of violence against women

She wears a mask of happiness, but she is hiding a deep secret inside!

What does it cost a woman to escape domestic violence?

What does it cost a woman to break the shackles of misogyny?

Named Happiness, Askar Uzabayev’s directorial portrays the journey of a woman in search of happiness and dignity. Most of the previous films of Director Askar Uzabayev are comedy dramas but for the first time he has experimented with a sensitive issue like domestic violence which can awaken the consciences of the audience .The director while speaking at the “Table Talks” organised by PIB at the 53rd IFFI, Goa today, said that “We live in a world of violence”.

Highlighting the significance of domestic violence which is the main theme of the movie, Director Askar Uzabayev said that family is an important institution in the society and it plays a very vital role in preventing social issues which transcends through generations. ‘It is actually a vicious cycle. These incessant abuses are raised by women in their families. And it is the need of the hour to prevent such social evil from our society’, he said. On being asked about the situation of women in Kazakhstan, director mentioned that women have high decision making power in the family. The society relies on women but at the same time the gender equality takes a backseat in patriarchal society.

Co-Producer Anna Katchko, who was also present in the IFFI Table Talks said that she was amazed by the number of women who approached her sharing their stories after watching the movie. ‘The script and the story needs to be very people centric and engage the audience. It is very important for me to make films that have more of social impact’, she said. She also informed that the film ‘Happiness’ is inspired by real events in her country.


The film is about a vicious circle of domestic violence in a small border town in Kazakhstan. The couple has been married for 23 years during which the wife has been constantly abused and raped by her alcoholic husband. Their daughter is about to get married and gets into the same marriage trap as her mother. Is there a way out of these circumstances? Who will take the lead? She has a big smile and wears orange for her influencer work. Her philosophy is the “Happiness” brand, but she lives in a gloomy environment where force has long been the dominant factor. This movie demonstrates how expensive it is to break free from misogyny.

Cast and Credits:

Director: Askar Uzabayev

Screenplay: Assem Zhapisheva, Askar Uzabayev

Producer: Bayan Maxatkyzy

Co-Producer: Anna Katchko        

Editing: Aset Mamyrov

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Author: Planet Goa Team
For us at Planet-Goa, our team is driven by that feeling of exhilaration that one gets when discovering that something ‘unique’ and ‘new’ about Goa for our ever-so-discerning readers.

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