Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
This film by distinguished Kirghizian filmmaker Bolotbek Shamshiev, won a prize at the All-Union Film Festival, and is based on a children's story by the well-known writer Chinghiz Ayatmatov. In the story, a lad who is keenly conscious of all that his widowed mother has lost, resolves to continue the family tradition of sheep-herding. When 20 sheep disappear from the herd he watches over, following an old custom, the villagers each contribute a sheep apiece from their own flocks, to make up the loss. Both the boy and his mother are shamed by this situation. The man who is responsible for the loss is the loudest in saying that such old customs are outdated. The boy turns the tables on the man who has brought such shame to him, and he returns all the sheep that were contributed to him. The villagers then are free to acknowledge the situation and ostracize the real culprit. However, when a serious misfortune affects the culprit, they forgive him.
boy, shepherd, mother, widow/widower, lost, shame