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Haytarma cover.jpg
Directed byAkhtem Seitablaiev
Written byMykola Rybalka
Produced byLenur Isliamov
Ivanna Diadiura
StarringAkhtem Seitablaiev
Oleksiy Horbunov
CinematographyVolodymyr Ivanov
Music byDzhemil Karikov
Serhiy Kutsenko
Release date
Running time
90 minutes
Crimean Tatar

Haytarma (Crimean Tatar: Qaytarma — «return», «homecoming») is a 2013 Ukrainian period drama film. It portrays Crimean Tatar flying ace and Hero of the Soviet Union Amet-khan Sultan against the background of the 1944 deportation of the Crimean Tatars.[1] The title of the film means "Return".[2] Haytarma is also the name of the most popular Crimean Tatar national dance.

Production and release[edit]

Production of the film began in October 2012 in Crimea. The initial budget for the film was US$2.5 million.[1] The funds were provided by Lenur İslâm, owner of Ukrainian television station ATR Channel. Much expenditure was devoted to scenic design and costume design.[3] A preview of the film was released in March 2013.[2] The premiere was scheduled for 18 May 2013, the 69th anniversary of the deportations; Amet-Khan's granddaughter Veronika, Soviet Air Force pilots, Russian generals, and ambassadors of foreign countries were invited to attend.[3]


The Kyiv Post gave a positive review, describing Haytarma as a "must-see for history enthusiasts".[4] In Simferopol, the Kosmos Cinema estimates that six thousand people saw the film in the first week, and one thousand per day by 4 June; the cinema had begun with just two screenings per day, but added two additional ones in response to the unexpected popularity.[5] It was screened at the International Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival in October 2013.[6] It was one of three films which made the Ukraine Oscar selection committee's shortlist to be submitted as a nominee in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 86th Academy Awards.[7]

Russian Consul in Simferopol Vladimir Andreev provoked public controversy for his comments that the film "distorts the truth" with its failure to mention alleged collaborationism by Crimean Tatars during Nazi Germany's occupation of Ukraine. He told several prominent Russian generals invited to the premiere to not attend, and said that the Crimean Tatars deserved to be deported, provoking a massive backlash. He later admitted that he did not actually watch the movie, saying "I did not watch [Seitablaev’s] film, but I know it is based on falsified history because it was produced by Crimean Tatars". Members of the public took expressed disgust, and on 23 May 2013 about 300 people held a protest outside the consulate demanding that Andreev be declared persona non grata, while the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs described Andreev's remarks as "inappropriate". Andreev initially stood by his Tatarophobic remarks made without knowledge of the movie's content and refused to retract them, but the following day the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also described Andreev's words as inappropriate and incorrect. Eventually he resigned in anger that the Russian government did not support his comments.[8][9][10]


  1. ^ a b "Production news: Haytarma". Ukraine Film Office. 5 October 2012. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Haytarma movie preview appears". QHA Crimean News Agency. 30 March 2013. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Haytarma is film for Crimean Tatars". QHA Crimean News Agency. 15 May 2013. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  4. ^ "'Haytarma', the first Crimean Tatar movie, is a must-see for history enthusiasts". Kyiv Post. 8 July 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
  5. ^ "Haytarma movie creates stir". QHA Crimean News Agency. 4 June 2013. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  6. ^ "Haytarma, Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival will be shown". Haber Monitor. 3 October 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
  7. ^ "Роднянский: "Хайтарма" может претендовать на "Оскар"" [Ronyanskii: 'Haytarma' may qualify for Oscar]. Vzglyad. 10 September 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
  8. ^ "Crimean Tatars Rally to Expel Russian Consul". RIA Novosti. 23 May 2013. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  9. ^ "Russia Admits Crimea Consul's Words Were 'Incorrect'". RIA Novosti. 24 May 2013. Archived from the original on 23 October 2013. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  10. ^ Izmirli, Idil (16 June 2013). "Russian consul general to Crimea resigns following offensive comments" (PDF). The Ukrainian Weekly: 2.