For thousands of Kyrgyz families, husbands and fathers leave their families to work in Russia – often for extended periods of time – in order to escape the poverty in their own country. The women left behind must cope with the challenges of raising children, managing households, and earning money, largely alone. Such a family is the subject of the documentary, Third Person. The film follows Airkairenza Kushtarbek and her four children, who live in a remote area of Kyrgyzstan while her husband works in Russia, over 3,000 kilometers away.
Airkairenza’s children grow up without their father around, and the family’s struggle reflects a larger issue in Kyrgyz society. Traditional gender roles still hold sway, but the reality of men leaving for Russia has forced many women to become self-reliant, despite the societal pressure for them to depend on their husbands. The film delves into this complex situation, highlighting the impact of absent fathers, the harsh realities of life in rural Kyrgyzstan, and the strength of women who are left behind. Don’t miss the touching story of the Kushtarbek family and many others in Third Person.