KYRGYZSTAN’S GOLD – TREASURES FROM THE FOREST

KEY 1 KYRGYZSTAN KEY 5 KYRGYSZTAN
KEY 6 KYRGYZSTAN KEY 2 KYRGYZSTAN

A documentary about an ordinary nut. We travel to the Fergana mountains in southern Kyrgyzstan for the walnut harvest and immerse ourselves in a fascinating foreign culture which is struggling to survive.

The Fergana mountains in southern Kyrgyzstan are home to the world’s largest natural walnut forest. The forest covers an area the size of the Black Forest, and some of the trees are 400 years old. Walnuts are in demand well beyond the national borders of Kyrgyzstan. In the country as a whole, little attention is paid to the ordinary-looking nut, but for the local population, it is one of the mainstays of their livelihood. But the forests are being threatened by illegal deforestation. Because valuable walnut wood is equally sought-after. Foresters have only recently started to plant new trees to preserve the diversity of the forests. We visit the town of Arslanbob in the middle of the spectacular mountains of southern Kyrgyzstan, and we accompany Muhta Akar, who is able to support himself and his family thanks to the walnut harvest. Muhta’s son, who works as a labourer in Russia, returns home to help is frail father during the two-month harvest. His eight-year-old grandson also has to muck in. After the harvest, the women spend the following weeks cracking the nuts: shelled nuts are worth three times as much on the market. An extraordinary story about an ordinary nut in a fascinating foreign culture.

Human Interest / Foreign Cultures
Length 45’ HD
Film by Carolin Reiter
Production Mangomondo Films Int. for MDR / ARTE, 2016
Original Title Kirgisisches Gold – Reichtum aus dem Wald / Les noix, le trésor du Kirghizstan