Behind the Lens and Censorship

Film Screening
Event Format
In person
Tsai Auditorium (S010), CGIS South 1730 Cambridge St

Join us for an evening featuring an acclaimed filmmaker from Kazakhstan, Olzhas Bayalbayev. We will screen Bayalbayev’s captivating short motion picture "GOK" (2021), depicting the dramatic takeover of a mining and ore-processing plant in northern Kazakhstan. The film resonated and sparked widespread debate in a country where the space for freedom of artistic expression has recently been shrinking. The screening promises a glimpse into unique artistic perspectives. 

About the film: Chinese investors arrive in Kazakhstan to secure a deal for the supply of critical minerals from a local GOK — the still-in-use Russian-language acronym for a mining and ore-processing plant — only to find themselves entangled in a web of corrupt schemes. The movie depicts a recurrent theme in Central Asia where a Russian oligarch, corrupt local authorities, and deep-pocketed investors collude to undermine the interests of the local populace. 

Following the screening, Davis Center fellow Dana Masalimova will moderate the discussion.

Time Period


The Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact us at 617-495-4037 or in advance of your participation or visit. Requests for Sign Language interpreters and/or CART providers should be made at least two weeks in advance if possible. Please note that the Davis Center will make every effort to secure services but that services are subject to availability.