18 kilohertz refers to a sound frequency that adults cannot hear. The film focuses on the realities which faced teenagers in Kazakhstan in the late 90s, at the time of the drug boom in Almaty. It tackles one side of the conflict between the child and his parents leading to his alienation and flight from home.
What makes the teenager prefer romantic asphalt streets to the cosy parental home? When a schoolteacher asks one of the two young main characters of the film, Jaga (Alibek Adiken) “What are your values?”, the boy replies “Freedom”.
‘18 kHz’ is a vibrant and kinetic coming-of-age drama which pits the trials and tribulations of youth with the growing drug culture of the era. Based on Zara Yesenaman’s novel ‘Hardcore’ and mixing with director Farkhat Sharipov’s memories of his own adolescence, we are transported into a world of degradation, desire and dilapidation. Set to a thrilling soundtrack, the film skilfully conjures up the excitement and dangers of a period of national change and exploration. 36th Warsaw Film Festival Grand Prix winner.