In a small Chechen village, Yaha spends her days with Madina, with whom she is very close. Both girls dream of leaving their homes after graduation and escaping to the real world, to live a life they can choose for themselves. Yaha’s older sister Heda also dreams of being free, but the price for this freedom is very high —if she decides to try for a divorce, her only son will in all likelihood be taken away from her. The film tells the stories of several Chechen women, where each of them tries to defend their right for freedom and the right to live their own life.
She was born in Grozny (Chechen Republic) in 1992. During the Second Chechen War in 1999 her family fled the country. After graduating from school in 2010, Malika enrolled in the Kabardino-Balkarian State University named after H.M. Berbekov, to the directorial workshop of Alexander Sokurov. During her studies she directed several short films that participated in international festivals. Having graduated, she moved to Germany, where she received a degree in Directing at the Hamburg Media School. There, she directed the short films ‘Angst’ (2017) and ‘I Can Stand’ (2018). In 2022 she directed her first feature film ‘The Cage is Looking for a Bird’, which premiered in the Encounters section of the Berlinale.