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Kazakh-Spanish documentary wins Jakarta film festival award

Photo courtesy of ecorepublicano.es Photo courtesy of ecorepublicano.es

Kazakh-Spanish film “The Forgotten of Karaganda" (Los olvidados de Karagandá) won in the nomination Best European Documentary and received the Gold Award at the Film Festival in Jakarta, Indonesia, Tengrinews reports citing the press service of the Foreign Ministry of Kazakhstan.

The 50-minute documentary, produced by Nexos Alianza, tells a story of 152 Spaniards, who were held in Karaganda Corrective Labor Camp or KarLag, one of the largest such camps in the Soviet history. The filming was inspired by the transfer of archival files to the Prime Minister of Spain Mariano Rajoy by the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev.

"The Forgotten of Karaganda" reflects eyewitness accounts, as well as the circumstances which made the 152 Spaniards prisoners of KarLag, previously unknown to most of the Spanish public.

The documentary shows the fate of the Spanish representatives of the Republican Party and the Blue Division, the two opposite sides during the Spanish Civil War and World War II, who found themselves in the same camp in Kazakhstan. In the film the ideological enemies become allies, forgetting their differences for the sake of survival.

The Spanish prisoners of war could not return to their homeland because there were no diplomatic relations between Spain and the USSR back in the day. They had to fight for survival together, leaving behind their ideological disagreements.

Enrique Gaspar Rodríguez, President of Nexos Alianza, said that the project was a way of finding links between Spain and Kazakhstan. It was him and Bakyt Dyuseenbayev, Kazakhstan's current ambassador to Spain, thanks to whom the project came to be.

The premiere of the film took place in Spain on November 18, 2014. Previously, the documentary won the California Film Awards.

Reporting by Vladimir Prokopenko, writing by Dinara Urazova

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