Chattanooga Film Festival: Ming kiyal (1000 Nights) (2021)

There’s a quote at the start of this movie that was so great that I wrote it down: “True love is wild and sad. This is the thrill of two beings in the darkness.”

Director Marat Sarulu, who co-wrote this movie with Emil Jumabaev, also made MoveSongs from the Southern Seas and The Rough River, the Placid Sea. In this film, he explores the relationship between fiction and reality as Nazar discovers the digital artwork of his partner Rumia’s ex-husband Arsen and finds his life changed as he learns that dream and fantasy, as well as reality and imagination, can intermingle and at times seem as one.

Of the film, Sarulu said, “At first, the film unfolds as a theme that can be described as “love amid change.” Here, the social background is removed and transformed into an expressive psychedelic, turning the plot into a complex relationship between reality and fiction. The true author of the story creates within the real flow of life his own secret myth in which he disappears. Dreams, memories and fantasies are intertwined with reality, creating a complex metaphysical pattern.”

Director Boris Troshev has created a world that takes black and white with muted moments of color to take us into worlds that are beyond our own. It’s gorgeous and nearly numbing in the best of ways, a balm for the chaotic world that we exist in. This film is nearly a meditation just as much as it is a movie.

Want to see it for yourself? It’s now playing as part of the Chattanooga Film Fest. Virtual tickets are available at

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