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In a Kyrgyz village, five older women adopt an infant foundling. Jump ahead about 12 years: the boy, Beshkempir, is entering puberty, the age, his granny says, when life goes berserk. He plays with friends, horsing around, sniggering about sex, going to an outdoor movie. He works, fishing and making bricks of mud. And, he's starting to notice girls. He and his best friend fight, and he learns to his consternation that he's a foundling. A death in the family pushes Beshkempir even faster toward adult roles: he must brush tears from his eyes, lead a funeral procession, and reconcile with his friend. Then, he borrows a bicycle and calls on Aynura: courtship begins. Written by
Not only is this film visually beautiful, shot in black and white with occasional scenes in color depicting the rural village where the film is set and its ancient rituals and traditions, but Abdykalykov also succeeds in telling us the story of Beshkempir, a boy who discovers his adoption, and the transition he makes from a child to a young adult. Strongly recommended.
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