If a nation does not know its history, if the country loses its history, then its citizens have nowhere to go.
Mirzhakyp Dulatuly

The great Kazakh producer

The great Kazakh producer - e-history.kz
The more time passes since the day when Shaken Aymanov died away, the clearer we realise the role of this outstanding person in the development of Soviet and Kazakh culture

Shaken Aymanov made a significant contribution to the development of spiritual life. The time engraved his name in the history of cultural life of our country and threw the light of people’s recognition and love upon it. The People’s Artist of the Soviet Union and Head of the Kazakhfilm studio, film producer and actor, Shaken Aymanov was a person of multifaceted talent.

He was born in a legendary place called Bayanaul, near Toraygyr Lake. His father was a talented singer and musician. He played the dombra brilliantly. Being a child, Shaken inherited love to music and beautiful songs from his father. Going to bed Shaken always took dombra with him. The first song he played and sang was "Yelimay" ("My Native Land").


Thought the 1920s were very difficult period famous singers, including Kali Bayzhanov, Zhayau Musa, Maira, and legendary wrestler Khadzhimukan visited Bayanaul very often.

Shaken Aymanov was born in the place which gave our country many prominent talents, including poets, singers, and craftsmen. His childhood and youth coincided with the youth of the Kazakh republic. Young people were aspired to acquire knowledge. Among others Shaken went to study in Semipalatinsk.

He started his education in a School-Commune and later entered the Pedagogical Instituted established by the initiative of Lunacharskiy. Shaken studied to become a teacher and work at a primary school and dedicated his free time to hobby groups. He played the dombra and mandolin and played roles in performances of the local drama group.

The drama hobby group of the Institute staged plays which told mainly about the life in Kazakh villages. The group members worked on plays of Zh. Shanin, M. Auezov, K. Baiseitova and A. Shalina, and many others.

In Semipalatinsk Aymanov got acquainted with works of professional actors of the Kazakh Drama Theatre which did tour and arrived from Alma-Ata. The first performance of the theatre which Shaken saw was "Karagoz" by M. Auezov. In 1933 when Shaken Aymanov was about to finish the third year of the institute, the Theatre of Working Youth arrived from Ridder to Semipalatinsk and invited him to work for it. Shaken played the role of old man Safar in the play called "Zarlyk". Prominent Kazakh writer Gabit Musrepov saw this play. He suggested two actors, Aymanov and Oguzbayev, to go to Alma-Ata and work in the Kazakh Drama Theatre.

So, in 1933 a new life started for Aymanov. There Shaken got acquainted with the master of Kazakh art Kulyash Bayseitova, Serke Kozhemkulov, Kalibek Kuanyshpayev, Zhumat Shanin, and to name but a few. Shaken Aymanov played various roles in the theatre.

In Almaty Shaken Aymanov worked for the famous theatre directors Borov, Sokolovskiy, Goldblag, Markova, and so on. Since 1945 he became the disrector of the theatre and produced ten performances, including "Amamngeldy", "Golos Ameriki", "Kalinovaya roscha", and others.

Working at the theatre he also starred in films. From the beginning he played small roles. But he was still focused on theatre performances.

In 1953 he left the theatre to work for the national cinema industry. Later Shaken wrote that he had done this because wanted to demonstrate the development of his region to more spectators. A play is stage in one or, at best, in several theatres while a film can be seen by dozens of thousands of people...

Aymanov’s creative growth was connected with the process of the development of national cinema industry and fully reflects its history. Firstly, he is the veteran of Kazakh cinema who produced the first Kazakh films. Secondly he was the author of those films which marked the stages of the development of Kazakhstan cinema.


Shaken Aymanov was recognised as the Honoured Artist of the Kazakh SSR. Outstanding actor and producer of the Soviet cinema art Sergey Bondarchuk outlined Shaken’s talent, creative idea and fantasy in his article in the Pravda newspaper.


For the active work in the sphere of theatre and cinema People’s Artist of the Kazakh SSR Shaken Aymanov was recognised as the People’s Artist of the Soviet Union on January 3, 1959.

In the 1960s Shaken Aymanov produced nine films which premiered successfully. It is interesting that he was starred in two of them.


His 50th anniversary was marked by the triumph of the film "Beardless Liar". In this case Aymanov acted as the co-author of the script, director-filmmaker and the actor of the lead role. Aldar Kose is not a real name but a nickname. "Aldar" means cunning fellow and "Kose" — "beardless". And nobody knows what his name was and whether he has lived ever.


His talent was fully revealed in his latest produces film "The End of the Ataman" which is considered to be the best work of Shaken.


Shaken Aymanov was a prominent figure in the Soviet cinema. His works were known even abroad. He visited several foreign countries, such as The US, Britain, Italy, France, and Egypt. He produced various films: tragedies, comedies, film-sketches, dramas.


The life of Shaken Aymanov came to an end unexpectedly. He was only 56 years old. A car hit him in a Moscow street. It happened in 1970.

The article is prepared on the basis of the materials provided by the State Archives of Pavlodar region.
Alena Demchenko