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Ayka (2018)

Drama | 100 minutes
3,40 55 votes

Genre: Drama

Duration: 100 minuten

Alternative titles: My Little One / Айка

Country: Kazakhstan / Russia / Germany / Poland / China

Directed by: Sergei Dvortsevoy

Stars: Samal Yeslyamova and Sergey Mazur

IMDb score: 7,1 (2.195)

Releasedate: 16 January 2019


This movie is not available on US streaming services.


Ayka plot

A young Kyrgyz girl named Ayka lives and works illegally in Moscow. After the birth of her son, she leaves him in the hospital and looks for work in order to survive.

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avatar van Movsin


  • 7634 messages
  • 8071 votes

Russian films, often gloomy, sad and realistic, but sometimes also very raw on top, such as this "Ayka" : the story of a young woman in Moscow, on the run for fear of being arrested as illegal by the police or by. .. - and that will turn out later and will greatly increase the sadness of her experience - and for fear of getting even deeper into the pit of poverty with a child.
Poignant image of unscrupulous human exploitation with a layer of cynicism on top or how about the slum landlord who speaks of "Hotel Sunshine", or when the desperate Ayka applies for work she is asked "Do you come for" How do you get rich ?"" or the idea you get when you see animal care getting the full attention, while people ignore human suffering indifferently and harshly.
Film leaves a deep impression. The abundant use of the hand-held camera - which I don't always like - does increase the chaotic, hopeless nature of the described situations in the Russian capital. Ayka, beautifully played and rightly praised by Samal Yeslyamova, has a goal, a project, wants to work and is courageous but does not get a chance.
I am surprised and also a bit annoyed at the very moderate interest in such a film of such a good level.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original

avatar van BBarbie


  • 12704 messages
  • 7591 votes

Raw reportage about a young woman who lives illegally in a wintry Moscow at the bottom of society and after giving birth she is more or less forced to leave her baby behind in the hospital due to lack of means of subsistence.

A shocking film about poverty, exploitation and the daily struggle to survive. An impressive tour-de-force from Samal Yeslyamova in the title role.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original

avatar van Lovelyboy


  • 3048 messages
  • 2234 votes

Already included on Canvas more than half a year ago because of the decent reviews. Tried it yesterday but it didn't work at all.

The story of Ayka may be well known, abandoned child, no money, no work, meager shelter and a bunch of loan sharks after the pants, in the middle of dystopian Moscow. It is mainly the harsh journey that we see fighting with the elements in a kind of fight to survive or eat or be eaten. Because people do everything they can to steal someone else's job in a world where you don't even seem to get a normal response when you ask for directions. Yet amidst the snowy and dark streets, there are small moments of compassion and help, even if they are scarce in this crowded and overcrowded conurbation.

But Ayka doesn't slide very smoothly, which may also be the intention of the director. How smooth can such torture be...? True, of course, but Ayka does feel very stiff at times, and slow with excruciatingly long shots and recordings that aim to show bustle, endlessness and stress, but still seem to overshoot that goal regularly. That's why this raw image of the bottom of the population doesn't grab me the way I'd like it to and I only feel a little compassion and the real hopelessness when the loan sharks are at the door.

I therefore find Ayka quite a difficult film to judge that does not grab me the way I would like it to, sometimes produces some false notes, but which nevertheless radiates a certain craftsmanship and perhaps also daring. That's why a 3.5, partly because of the image that is being tried to create.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original