A new film about a 6th-century BCE queen known as Tomiris by Kazakh director Akan Satayev is set to be released this autumn.
The historic epic will focus on the life of Tomyris, whose Massagetae were an Indo-Iranian confederation of nomadic tribesmen who fought off the powerful Persian Empire of Cyrus the Great when he attempted to expand his dominion into the great steppes of what is now modern Kazakhstan.
Stories of Tomyris’ exploits against Cyrus date back to antiquity. The Ancient Greek historian Herodotus claimed that Tomyris defeated and killed Cyrus in 530 BCE. Xenophon, the Greek philosopher and student of Socrates, disputed Herodotus’ claim, however, saying Cyrus died in his sleep.
The steppe queen’s story was later referenced by Shakespeare in his play King Henry VI (Part I).
Tomyris is played by 28-year-old Almira Tursyn, a psychologist who is appearing in her first feature film.