In 2001, the film was chosen to represent Kyrgyzstan in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 2002 Oscars, making it the second film to compete since Kyrgyz independence. The film competed against 50 other countries and was ultimately unable to make the Top Five. See more »
Interesting "slice-of-life" film from Central Asia
It takes talent to make a good film in which "nothing happens".
Well, Aktan Abdykalykov, his teenage son Mirlan (who plays the titular lead) and the rest of the largely amateur cast have managed to do so, with a minimum of resources and a maximum of heart.
"The Chimp" is set in a desolate town in Kyrgyzstan at some unknown point in the past. The lead character ("The Chimp", so called for his big ears) is seventeen and about to enter compulsory military service with the bulk of his friends. The film is a look at life in a country that the rest of the world would probably never otherwise have a chance to see. Perhaps the most striking thing about life for "The Chimp" in rural Kyrgyzstan is how many of the same problems affect people in all countries around the world. The boys in the village are horny and sexually frustrated, (some of the girls seem to be so as well), alcoholism remains a problem among the largely blue-collar town, and the kids fight with each other, fight with their parents, have crushes on each other, get into trouble, listen to pop music, get part-time jobs and generally do their best to get by.
The main reason to recommend this film is to see a "slice-of-life" from Central Asia. It's not necessarily "exciting", but it is a fascinating look at a Kyrgyz family and community (mixed Kyrgyz and Russian) struggling to get by. 7/10. Recommended.
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