chapter  8
28 Pages

CINEMA AS BRANDING

BySaulesh Yessenova

Introduction ........................................................................................... 174 Background, Organization, and Methodology ...................................... 178 Ablai in Oral Tradition .......................................................................... 180 Cinematic Version of Ablai ................................................................... 185 Historical Period ................................................................................... 190 Conclusion ............................................................................................ 195 Keywords .............................................................................................. 198 References ............................................................................................. 198

INTRODUCTION

When the Soviet Union went into its death throes, no one thought of Kazakhstan, the last socialist republic to break away, as a state that would make a major breakthrough in economic development, outpacing Russia, its former boss, and the countries of Eastern Europe. Initially regarded as a soap bubble blown by global ambitions in the energy-rich Caspian Basin, its success has revealed sound economic and political strategies that paved the way for continued economic growth. Nevertheless, oil has been a major factor behind the country’s ‘miracle,’ significantly informing public culture and identity of this newly emerged nation. And yet – neither the impressive transformation from a designated ‘bread basket’ within the Soviet division of labor into a player on the global oil market with a rizing economic profile, nor the earlier decision to dismantle the country’s nuclear arsenal, or the contribution to greater regional cooperation and security – helped to shape Kazakhstan’s global image, which remained, in an international view, an obscure place in Russia’s backyard.