Buzkashi! main content.


Azams Herd

Najeeb Mirza
2012 | 84 mins | Tajikistan

Donning protective gear that includes tank helmets from old wars, the players of Tajikistan’s polo-like sport of Buzkashi prepare for competition as if going into battle. Rivalries, alliances, and political intrigues pit ancient values of honor and integrity against ego-driven hunger for power and wealth, and this film, both an exploration of the game and a character study of three of its top players, opens an intriguing window on this former Soviet republic. While scenes of hundreds of riders on horseback racing across the plateaus of this mountainous country are striking and viscerally thrilling, the personal lives of the protagonists—husbands and fathers devoted to their families and with deep roots in their communities—emerge as surprisingly familiar.

Co-presented by CEC Artslink

Whose Story Is It?

"As a filmmaker I try to bring forward voices that are not often heard, and try to tell their stories as authentically as I can. To this end I ask them to direct me, guiding me to shoot what's important to them, and at times leaving the camera with them to film themselves. Directly or indirectly they tell me what their story is, and using my skills as a filmmaker I choose how best to tell that story."

-Najeeb Mirza | Director Buzkashi!