Kyrgyzstan. Ascel is engaged to Sultan, the local Mr Big with the grandest house. This looks like a palace to Ascel, who lives in a hovel with her drunkard father. She doesn't love Sultan, ... See full summary »


2 nominations. See more awards »


Cast overview:
Maral Koichukaraeva ...
Cecile Plage ...
Atai Omurbekov ...
Asan Amanov ...
Bolot Tentimyshov ...
Denis Sukhanov ...
Kseniya Lavrova-Glinka ...
Virginie's mother
Maksim Glotov ...
Roman Nesterenko ...
Michele Levieux ...


Kyrgyzstan. Ascel is engaged to Sultan, the local Mr Big with the grandest house. This looks like a palace to Ascel, who lives in a hovel with her drunkard father. She doesn't love Sultan, but she wants a better life. She is having an affair with Marat and expecting his child. She marries Sultan but immediately leaves for Moscow for an abortion, and starts living with gastarbeiters. She sells her unborn child to Virginie, a French woman. She becomes housemaid to (and then lover of) a rich New Russian, Arkady. Marat appears, starts a fight with Arkady and gets arrested. Ascel decides to go to France and stay with Virginie. But she discovers that the latter has a mental disease. Then the baby arrives... Written by

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Release Date:

7 June 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Пустой дом  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The official submission of Kyrgyzstan to the Best Foreign Language Film of the 85th Academy Awards 2013. See more »

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User Reviews

The Empty Home
6 December 2012 | by (London) – See all my reviews

Nurbek Egen and Ekaterina Tirdatova's film (Kyrgyzstan's nomination for the forthcoming foreign language Oscars) is very impressive: the viewer immediately gets the sense that these are film-makers who know their business. A rich, detailed and unsentimental picture emerges of life in post-Soviet society, and how tough it is out there in the demise of traditional social values. The skill of the film-makers is shown in the way that they trust the audience to pick up the story without necessarily having every last detail explained to us: we fill in the gaps ourselves and quite soon understand that a coherent network of social relationships – intelligently delineated and systematically developed – governs the overall drift of the story. The movie's sophistication can be discerned in the way that the excitement of the tale (and it's very exciting) isn't dependent on straightforward genre conventions of torture and revenge. Certainly, there is a prey and there is a pursuer. But who will outwit whom in this game of high stakes is kept back to the very last moment. The milieu that is sketched here is beginning to be familiar to Western viewers through powerful films like last year's Elena. It is a world where crime is an ordinary part of life, and where middle-class values of decency and respect for the individual hold little sway. "Each man for himself, and the Devil take the hindmost!" Yet even in Darwinian cesspools there are distinctions to be made. The heroine Ascel, for all her single-minded ruthlessness, keeps a kind of innocence: this is what is moving about the film – it's not completely a story about corruption. The actress in question (Maral Koichukaraeva) is absolutely brilliant – as brilliant as she is beautiful. But in fact all the acting is good, the secondary parts as well as the principals. The Empty Home is properly ambitious in its imaginative grasp of an evolving society in all its complexity. But where it is most ambitious is in refusing to condescend to the audience. There are no "feel-good" let-out clauses. At the end you find yourself thinking: This is the real thing.

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