Kazakh president puts own name in lights with film of his childhood
In a region famous for its personality cults, Kazakhstan’s President has added a new feather to his dictatorial cap, with a big-budget movie release that dramatises his childhood.
The Sky of My Childhood, released this week in the Central Asian country, is a dramatised version of Nursultan Nazarbayev’s early life. The Kazakh President makes brief appearances at the beginning and end of the film, while three different actors play him at various stages of his childhood.
Mr Nazarbayev, who has ruled Kazakhstan since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, last week won an election with a staggering 95 per cent of the vote: it will keep him in office for another five-year term.
The constitution was changed in 2007 to allow Mr Nazarbayev to stand as many times as he likes, and while he does enjoy genuine popularity, critics complain of minimal press freedom and widespread human rights abuses.
The country’s opposition boycotted last week’s election, while one of the three candidates who did stand against Mr Nazarbayev said that he himself had voted for the incumbent.