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English Titles S


Original title: Schiza
German title: Schizo
Russia, Kazakhstan, France, Germany, 2004

Director: Omarowa, Guka
Production company: Sergej Bodrow Sen., Sergej Seljanow, Sergej Asimow
Co-producers: Kinofabrika Hamburg
Age recommendation: 14 years and up

Mustafa is better known as “Schizo”. The 15-year-old boy’s classmates use the nickname to bait him. But as if wholly inured to the intended affront, he introduces himself to strangers by the same name. This indifference reveals the real psychological problem: he is autistic rather than schizophrenic. However, clinical diagnoses are not the film’s concern – and in the atmosphere of social lethargy prevailing in provincial Kazakhstan, Schizo’s isolation and listless reactions scarcely stand out. If anything, one is struck by a discrepancy between his slim and boyish appearance, which makes him look like a late developer, and an incongruous gravity of manner that testifies to experience of life.
His mother’s boyfriend gets him a job as a recruiter for illegal boxing matches. Determined to prove himself worthy of the job at any cost, Schizo is a loyal employee who refuses to divulge information even after he is arrested. Then one night he notices how a boxer injured during a fight is simply left lying in a corner. Before the man dies, he gives Schizo his prize money and a woman’s address. When Schizo takes the cash to Zinka, the mother of a 5-year-old boy, a wholly material relationship based on distress and neediness starts up between the two. But for Schizo, who is torn between the urge to act like a real man in front of the grown-up woman and to get down on the floor and play with her son, it soon begins to mean more. (Filmfestival Cottbus 2004)

Cottbus 2004 (awarded), Castellinaria Bellinzona 2004 (awarded), Blck Nights Tallinn 2004 (awarded), Poznan 2005 (awarded), Zlin 2005

World sales address/es:
Intercinema (RUS)