Synopsis by Mark Deming
A teenage boy is thrown into a world of love, death, and deception in this powerful drama. Mustafa (Olzhas Nusuppaev) is a 15-year old boy living in Kazakhstan in the early 1990s. Nicknamed "Schizo" by his schoolmates because of several incidents of emotional instability, Mustafa left school and works for Sakura (Eduard Tabischev), his mother's boyfriend, who helps to organize bare-knuckle boxing tournaments for a cadre of bookmakers. Mustafa's job is to find likely fighters for Sakura, and one of the first prospects he brings in is Ali (Gairatzhan Tokhgibakier), who is only a few years older than Mustafa himself. Ali is matched against a large and experienced heavyweight and does not survive the fight; as he lies dying, Ali gives Mustafa all his money and asks him to deliver it to Zinka (Olga Landina), Ali's girlfriend and the mother of his five-year-old daughter. But Mustafa doesn't have the heart to tell Zinka that Ali has died and delivers the money with a story that her boyfriend has gone missing. Mustafa is quite taken with Zinka and begins spending most of his spare time with her; Zinka eventually catches on to the fact Ali is not coming back and persuades Mustafa to set up her uncle Zhaken (Bazkitbek Baimuzhanbetov) in one of Sakura's fights. An experienced boxer, Zhaken wins the fight and splits the purse with Zinka, who decides to accept Mustafa as her new beau. Schizo is the first feature film from screenwriter and actress Guka Omarova.
boxing, boyfriend, deception, emotional-problems, Kazakhstan, promise