The Chimp

The Chimp


Reviewed by: Trinity

The Chimp is the nickname of a teenage boy (with large ears) who lives in the small town of Balyktchy, Kirghizstan, a former part of the USSR in central Asia.

His family is being torn apart by his dad's alcoholism, his emotions are being torn as he sees his friends pair off into couples, and his job working on the railtracks is uninspiring.

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As he waits to join the army, small events happen which gradually take him into adulthood, whilst he experiences some of the best and worst parts of human nature.

Whilst other central asian countries' filmmaking, in particular Iran, has been feted, little Kirghiz output has found its way to Britain. This is Abdkalykov's second feature film, and his first in full colour.

His attention to detail, from watching bugs crawl across floors, to the endless blue of the open sky mark out the qualities of a true visual artist. However this, the final part of an autobiographical trilogy, is not an easy film to watch.

In a style reminscent of Bruno Dumont's La Vie de Jesus, nothing much of any consequence happens through the entire film. Indeed the central character (played by Abdykalykov's son) is such a study of intense introversion, that it's difficult to empathise with him.

But nevertheless, this is an important film and not an unrewarding one either, if you are prepared to see beauty in small things.

Reviewed on: 14 Aug 2001
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The Chimp packshot
A teenage boy confronts adulthood as he waits to join the army.

Director: Aktan Abdykalykov

Writer: Aktan Abdykalykov

Starring: Mirlan Abdykalykov, Sergej Golovkin, Alexandra Mitrokhina, Dzylkycy Dzakypov

Year: 2001

Runtime: 98 minutes

Country: Kirghizstan,


EIFF 2001

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