In Kazakhstan, more than 400 women die from domestic violence every year, while the number of women who end up in hospital after abuse is even many times higher. It is a form of violence that is deeply rooted in Kazakh society. For women it takes a lot of courage to speak out against it. One of the women who dare to do so is Bayan Yessentayeva, a famous blogger with millions of followers, as is journalist Assem Zhapisheva, who has published extensively on the issue. Yessentayeva produced this film, Zhapisheva wrote the screenplay.
A successful influencer, dressed in orange, promotes cosmetic products from a brand called "Happiness" with a mesmerizing sales pitch. The façade of "happiness", however, conceals quite a different story: her body is black and blue from the many blows her husband has been doling out for years. Her daughter is about to get married, and a similar fate awaits her. Something has to be done.
ASKAR UZABAYEV (1983, Kazakhstan) is a director and founder of Almaty-based production company 567 Creative Laboratory Studio. He has directed 16 films, many of them box-office hits, in his home country. He has also written ten screenplays and produced four films. BAQYT won the 2022 Berlinale Panorama Audience Award and screens in the WCA Competition programme.