WINGS OF KYRGYZSTAN - Release Date - Summer 2019
Horsefly Films Rare Equine Trust : Director & Cinematographer: Sophie Dia Pegrum

A young man struggles to follow in the footsteps of his ancestors traditional nomadic life with little more than a hut, his young wife and his treasured horse - an animal considered “the wings of man”.   In Kyrgyzstan, horses are used for working, sport and food and shape the identity and aspirations of Kyrgyzstan’s maverick riders. Brutality and beauty are the backdrop for this simple mountain life, where men fight on horseback for sport and try to pass their traditions down generation to generation in an era of modernization and materialism. 

Urmat and Ayker collecting water, with filmmaker Sophie Dia Pegrum.

Urmat and Ayker collecting water, with filmmaker Sophie Dia Pegrum.

Urmat and Ayker awake at dawn to release hundreds of sheep to graze on the lush grass carpeting the landscape. Their fire is built from animal dung, and the entirety of their possessions hang on a peg, by the door. Across Kyrgyzstan, mountain people awake and they milk their horses and cook over smokey fires. Ordinary life as it has been for thousands of years.  Urmat's prized horse is a pacing horse and considered a fine racer with an extraordinary ability to "pace" using a parallel gait which is highly sought after for its comfort and speed over long distances. 

Kyrgyzstan, the “Switzerland” of Central Asia,  is a lush land of grazing pastures which has been beset upon by Soviet occupation and the forced settlement of its semi nomadic residents. Now independent, the country faces high unemployment, and a drain of young people to the lure of income in the Middle East. Kyrgyzstan’s future lies in the hands of its youth and the struggle for national and personal identity here is rampant.  Urmat and Ayker are trying to make a life bridging the traditional aspirations of Urmat's father, and Ayker's aspirations for a more modern existence. 

Wings of Kyrgyzstan will be a cinematic window into the subtle struggles and daily lives of a culture on the brink of change.