SOAS University of London

Centre of Contemporary Central Asia & the Caucasus

CIRCASSIA: Exploring the Sounds of an Ancient Country

Vincent Moon and Bulat Khalilov (Directors)

Date: 4 March 2014Time: 6:00 PM

Finishes: 4 March 2014Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: G52

Type of Event: Film

The start time/venue of this event have changed from the original listing.  The film will now be held in conjunction with the seminar on the 'Music of the Uzbeks of Northern Afghanistan', which is taking place in G52 at 5pm. 

Circassian [subtitled in English and Russian] 33 minutes


"There is no narration in this beautiful and highly-precious piece of art. The "stars" of the film speak in their ancestral language [subtitled in English and Russian] about their musical and spiritual culture. Not only are they the guardians of the Circassian musical heritage, they act as the spiritual conscience of their nation.

Some of the classics of ancient and traditional Circassian chants and musical compositions are sung by present-day Circassian minstrels (джэгуакIуэ; jegwak'we), including an anthem on Nart Sosriqwe, "The Elegy of Murat Wezi" [the intrepid Circassian "abrek"], "Psixeghe" [ritualistic magic melody to recover the drowned], Schhegwasche, "My Remezan", and a song of vigil over the sick. One is transported, as if in a dream, into a musical Elysium.

In this 33-minute film Bulat Khalil and Vincent Moon succeed in capturing both the exquisite beauty of Circassia and the essence of the musical traditions of the Circassians. 

Organiser: Centres & Programmes Office

Contact email: Stefan Williamson Fa,

Contact Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4893