First Kazakh Rap Music Film to Be Presented in Almaty

ASTANA – “Detective Johnny,” the first rapmusic film shot in the territory of the former Soviet Union, will premier July 31 in Almaty.  Directed by Miras Toleukhanov, the movie features some of the city’s well-known rap singers.


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The film focuses on the title character’s investigation into the murder of a girl named Jess. He meets different people as he conducts his inquiry, many of whom are portrayed by the local rap artists. Each bit of dialogue with the characters turns into a recitative accompanied by rhythmical rap music.

“This idea and its realisation were very interesting for me as a director. The actions of the movie occur in the 1930s, in the times of Chicago gangsters. I created the corresponding scenario and used corresponding stylistics,” said Toleukhanov, according to the Bnews website.

The costumes, style, scenery and decor reflect the times, showing the spirit of Prohibition in the U.S. when gangsters ruled many cities.

Rap singers such as Big Som, Sedrik Nemacho, Tanir (Da Gudda Jazz), Kicha, Timon, Piro, Al’Nasr (G-Had Otbasy) and Kai Piki were included in the movie. The director felt the main target of the film was to unite rap singers of different generations.

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“The rap musical film is a low-cost project and its creators had to pay for everything by themselves, but our team worked not for the sake of money. We worked to create. I wrote a scenario and my friends helped me with the dialogue. Jazz-rap tracks were created by actors-rap singers. The only thing I did concerning the movie’s music and songs – I gave direction to the rap singers, because their songs and music had to correspond with the scenario.

“All the songs are absolutely new. Nobody has heard them. Kemal Alisabri, our very talented friend, provided the music and backing tracks. Vitaliy Kichatov, well-known as Kicha, provided tracks and music for us, too,” said Toleukhanov.

“Detective Johnny” was filmed in 2014 and its opening night was originally scheduled in March. The creators had problems, however, pushing the premiere to later this month in Event City Hall.

The film is not Toleukhanov’s first venture into movieland. “Petlya,” a low-cost, full-length flick, became a very successful and popular project especially on YouTube, where it had more than 12 million views.

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