Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes (TV series)

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Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes
RussianЗулейха открывает глаза
Based onZuleikha
by Guzel Yakhina
Written by
Directed byEgor Anashkin
Opening theme"Ai bylbylyum" by Dina Garipova
ComposerDmitry Dankov
Country of originRussia
Original languageRussian
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes8
Executive producerIlya Papernov
  • Aleksandr Kushaev
  • Irina Smirnova
  • Anton Zlatopolskiy
  • Shandor Berkeshi
  • Aleksey Fedorov
Running time47—58 minutes
Production companyKinokompaniya Russkoe
Original network
Original releaseApril 13 (2020-04-13) –
April 22, 2020 (2020-04-22)

Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes (Russian: Зулейха открывает глаза, tr. Zuleikha otkrivaet glaza) is a Russian television historical fiction drama series based on the novel Zuleikha by Guzel Yakhina and aired on channel Russia-1 in April 2020.[1] The series stars Chulpan Khamatova as Zuleikha Valieva, a peasant woman from the Tatar village in the Soviet Union.[2]


It's the story of a peasant woman Zuleikha from the small Tatar village. In 1930 there is the Soviet campaign of political repressions of kulaks. Zuleikha's husband resisted dekulakization and was killed by communists. Zuleikha was transported to Siberia and left in a remote location on Angara River with little means of survival. She had to overcome the harsh conditions, build relationships with other exiles and forge her new identity and reasons for living.

Cast and characters[edit]


Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes is a screen version of the best-selling novel by Guzel Yakhina. The book won the Yasnaya Polyana Literary Award and the Big Book Award in 2015.[3]

The filming of the TV series was first announced in March 2016[4] and began on September 11, 2018.[5] The main part of the entire series was filmed in Tatarstan. On the bank of the Kama River in the city of Laishevo, the historical settlement of Semruk was built.[6] Part of the filming took place in the ethnographic complex Tatar Avyly in the village of Isakovo, Zelenodolsky District of Tatarstan.[7]


The series received mixed reviews from viewers, critics and public figures.[8]

On 15 April 2020 the chairman of the political party Communists of Russia Maxim Suraykin said the film desecrated the memory of the Soviet past and announced the preparation of an official appeal to the leadership of the TV channel Russia-1 to stop the show of the series on the air.[9]

On 17 April 2020 the head of the Spiritual assembly of muslims of Russia Albir Krganov sent the letters to the chairman of VGTRK Oleg Dobrodeev and the head of FADN Igor Barinov to clarificate contents of the second series with a sex scene in a mosque and the use of the names of prominent Muslim figures among the exiles.[10]


  1. ^ ""Зулейха открывает глаза": актеры рассказали, как создавался сериал" (in Russian). Вести.RU. 2 March 2020. Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  2. ^ "Маковецкий и Пересильд вошли в актерский состав сериала "Зулейха открывает глаза"" (in Russian). Газета.RU. 21 August 2018. Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  3. ^ Кочарова, Анна (1 March 2016). "Гузель Яхина: для меня не было выбора, о чем писать" (in Russian). РИА Новости. Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  4. ^ "Хаматова готова сыграть главную роль в сериале по книге Яхиной". РИА Новости. 15 March 2016. Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  5. ^ "Названа дата начала съемок сериала "Зулейха открывает глаза"". БИЗНЕС Online. 25 August 2018. Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  6. ^ "Появились фотографии исторического поселения, построенного под Лаишево для съемок сериала "Зулейха открывает глаза"". БИЗНЕС Online. 26 June 2018. Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  7. ^ "Глава Зеленодольского района поддержит комплекс "Татар авылы", где снимали сериал "Зулейха открывает глаза"". БИЗНЕС Online. 15 April 2020. Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  8. ^ Roth, Andrew (3 March 2020). "Russian author defends gulag-era story as TV series provokes backlash". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  9. ^ Гончаров, Владислав (16 April 2020). ""Зулейха" — это рецидив американской пропаганды: Сурайкин о сериале и врагах народа" (in Russian). Радио «Комсомольская правда». Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  10. ^ "У мусульман есть вопрос" (in Russian). Духовное собрание мусульман России. 17 April 2020. Retrieved 3 February 2021.