Bride Kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan
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Bride Kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan
IDFA 2004

Bride Kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan

Petr Lom
Canada, Kyrgyzstan
51 min
Festival history
In Kyrgyzstan, it is not unusual for a girl to go to school carefree in the morning, but to end up a bride in a family of strangers by nightfall. It is no use to put up a struggle. Young Kairgul is calmly waiting for the school bus. She does not suspect that the man hanging out on the curb has evil intentions, but the next moment, he pushes her into a passing car and kidnaps her to become his bride. “I don't want to be late for school,” she shouts. “Your classes are over,” he dryly responds. In Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia, men abduct a bride if they are not rich enough to pay a dowry. The kidnapping is often discussed beforehand in the potential groom's family: who has a car available, what the girl should be able to do, and where she will live. After the abduction, the new in-laws inform the girl’s parents, who often accept the “proposal.” Kidnapping a bride is the usual state of affairs. “We have all been abducted,” women tell a freshly kidnapped girl who reluctantly stands in a corner. Director Petr Lom films the brides, the grooms and the in-laws, and tells the story from this remote country in five chapters. By the way, the native men wear nice hats.
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