Synopsis by Gönül Dönmez-Colin
When Serik Aprymov shot his first feature film, Kijan/The Last Stop (1989), about daily life in his native village of Aksuat, angry citizens put a prize on his head for exposing their miserable lives so realistically. Aprymov is more daring now and actually calls his 1998 film Aksuat. His technique is more polished, but his sharp eye for the quibbles of life is sharper than ever. Peasant Aman lives a quiet life in his village in east Kazakhstan, where he runs errands for the local Mafia boss. His life changes irrevocably when his long lost brother Kanat, the prodigal son of the family, returns home to escape his debtors, bringing along his pregnant Russian girlfriend, Zhanna. Soon Kanat is arrested, and Zhanna is left in charge of Aman, who looks after her and her baby, as is his duty. But a rumor spreads that Aman has taken Zhanna as a mistress. The girl must be sent away, as Aman is torn between his feelings and age-old-traditions. An important member of the Kazakh "new wave" which deliberately shies away from studios, sets and professional actors, Aprymov has woven a humanistic tale with a minimalist style in this story of people caught in the quagmire of tradition on the edge of the twenty-first century. The depiction of the socio-psychological identity crisis that followed the fall of the Soviet Union is remarkably accurate. Aksuat was screened as part of the Panorama section of the 49th International Berlin Film Festival, 1999.
brother, conflict, gossip, peasant, pregnancy, Russian [nationality], village