• 86'
  • Kazakhstan
  • 2004
Schizo, screened in the Un Certain Regard section in Cannes, is writer-director Guka Omarova's first feature. The film takes the viewer to Kazakhastan at the beginning of the 1990s. We follow the life of 15-year-old Mustafa, nicknamed Schizo, who is given the task by his mother's boyfriend of finding boxers for illegal fights. His life, however, is turned upside down when one of his recruits is fatally wounded during a fight. He gives Schizo the money he has just won and asked him to take care of his wife. Schizo carries out his mission, but falls in love with the young woman. Suddenly his life begins to make sense: now he knows for whom he has to earn money. 'Filming scenes with real free fighters is really difficult,' says Guka Omarova. 'They don't know how to fake it; they fight with all their strength. We were all a little worried that if there was a real knock-out we wouldn't be able to film anything [...] I think that real free fighters and seasoned fans will realize that they're watching real fights.' Schizo is a very convincing début and a nice example of Kazakh cinema - think of the classic Killer, but then situated in a rural environment. Omarova shows us modern, harsh life in a very direct way, but it can be poetic as well sometimes.
Guka Omarova
Countries of production
Kazakhstan, Russia, France, Germany
Production Year
Festival Edition
IFFR 2005
Original title
CTB Film Company, Kazakhfilm National Company, Les Petites Lumières, Kinofabrika, Sergei Bodrov, Sergey Selyanov, Sergey Azimov
Intercinema Agency
Guka Omarova, Sergei Bodrov
Local Distributor
Contact Film