About movie

Behind the Wheel

Original title Behind the Wheel


Every year, hundreds of thousands of migrant workers leave Tajikistan in search of employment. The money sent back provides a huge boost to the economy; in fact, Tajikistan is the most remittance-dependent country in the world. The vast majority of these migrants are male, which means the Tajik population is becoming ever-more female. So what happens to the women who stay behind? Shedding light on a hitherto largely unexplored research area, Behind the Wheel explores the moral and emotional turmoil of Nigora, an Uzbek woman whose traditional life of being a housewife is interrupted after her migrant husband fails to send back enough money and she finds out he has been having an affair. No longer able to rely on her husband, Nigora defies prevailing gender norms and sets to work fixing tyres.

Author/s Elise Laker

Elise Laker is an ethnographic researcher and film-maker based in the UK. She is a recent graduate of the Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology and holds a BA in French and Russian from the University of Nottingham. Alongside her studies, Elise has travelled extensively throughout Central Asia and has a fascination with post-Soviet countries.

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