Akan Satayev • Kazakhstan • 2016
1922. A boy, Ilyas, is born to a nomadic family in the Kazakh steps. Some years later, soldiers arrive to enforce Soviet the policy of collective farming, polarizing the community among those who welcome change, and those who don't. Ilyas's family divides among these fault lines; in a fit of violence Ilyas is kidnapped and separated from his mother. Over the course of several decades, both mother and son seek to find each other once more.
A sweeping historical drama, The Road to Mother depicts several chapters of Kazakh history through an intimate story of war, famine, collectivization, and maternal love. Akan Satayev's seventh feature premiered at Moscow, the New York Eurasian Film Festival, and the Eurasian Bridge Festival in Crimea. The Road to Mother was Kazakhstan's official submission to the 90th Academy Awards, but was not nominated.