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08.03, - 20:45, Cinema House
Director:  Gulshat Omarova
European Screen
Agnes and His Brothers
Feathers in My Head
Honey Baby
Look at Me
My Summer of Love
No Rest for the Brave
Old Women
Our Own
Sophie Scholl Hope and Resistance
The Arm of Jesus
The Gift
The Ninth Day
Up and Down


, 2004, 86 min, color

The story is set in rural Kazakhstan in the early nineties, when a brutal, no-holds-barred amateur boxing circuit was the illegal playground of gamblers and chisellers and the despoiler of countless young men. A fifteen-year old kid known as Schizo because he doesnt seem to be quite all there is enlisted by small-town hoodlum Sakura to help find young men willing to be beaten senseless in the hopes of winning an old Mercedes. Together they ply their trade, cruising the mines for prospective victims, until one fighter dies from the vicious blows to his head. At the last minute, the dying man gives Schizo his money and asks him to take it to his girlfriend, and a new story begins as Schizo makes the delivery at a shack on the edge of town.

The abject penury of the characters daily life is heightened by extraordinary settings in the bleak landscape, but the unflinching realism of the direction is offset by Omarovas compassionate sympathy and respect for the characters. While every telling detail increases the power of the narrative, there is something in the spirit of the piece that materializes as a lightness of being. This is a marvellous film by a talented new director.
Kay Armatage

Gulshad Omarova, born in Almaty, Kazakhstan, now lives in Rotterdam. She received a degree in journalism from the State University of Kazakhstan and one in documentary film from the Almaty Academy of Arts. She has directed three short films, as well as the documentary Captain Khan (1999). Schizo is her feature debut
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