Selkinchek means swing in Kyrgyz, and this childlike symbol of joy is the centrepiece of Kyrgyz auteur’s Aktan Abdykalykov’s exquisite coming of age story.
An eleven-year-old boy, Mirlan, is in love with a girl, Ainur, who is fifteen or sixteen years old. They spend a lot of time together, swinging on a swing. Life flows peacefully, but one day a sailor arrives in their village who begins to spend time with Ainura. Mirlan’s heart breaks with longing until finally, he begins to draw his sadness on the outside wall of his house. Shot entirely on location with minimal equiptment and a cast featuring the director’s own son, this bittersweet tale of a young boy’s transformative experience of first love, is one of the greatest gems of Central Asian cinema. It is also the first in a trilogy of films by Abdykalykov about love and the approach of adulthood.
Please note the screening link will be available from midday Tues 21 July to Tues 28 July 2020. This screening is a Film Feels Connected event. Please fill out this survey after watching. Thank you for your time.
Aktan Abdykalykov (Kyrgyzstan)
Aktan Abdykalykov is a Kyrgyz director, screenwriter and actor born in 1957 in Soviet Kyrgyzstan. He was adopted, as it was customary for parents of a large family to offer a baby boy to an infertile couple. Raised in the village of Kuntu where he still resides, he grew up fascinated by the Russian and Indian movies shown in the little theatre in the village. He studied painting and technical drawing at Kyrgyz Fine Arts College, a skill which no doubt has informed the cinematic beauty of his films. In 1981 he began his work in film as a set decorator at Kyrgyzfilm, leading to his career directing. He is best known for his deeply personal, symbolic films which both reflect his own life and provide a voice for Kyrgyzstan’s specific social issues. He is best known for his work Beshkempir (1998) which won the Silver Leopard and is regarded as one of the greatest pieces of Asian cinema. His recent work, Centaur (2017) stunned the festival circuit received to great applause. As well as directing and co-writing, Abdykalykov starred in this film.
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