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Marilee J. Layman

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06:57 pm: Schizo
This is a film from Kazakhistan about a boy named Mustafa. He's nicknamed "Schizo" (they say SHEEZ o) because they think he's odd. The local doctor also declares him odd and gives him pills and says he needs a treatment; all the while the doctor is checking himself out with a BP cuff and an underarm thermometer.

Mustafa's mother has a younger boyfriend who takes him to an old mine where the guys hang out and gets Mustafa to bring some men to an illegal boxing event. The event has the big rich guy plus his pro boxer and lots of bettors. The first one we see, one of the local men dies from the damage in the ring, but asks Mustafa to take the earnest money to his girlfriend Zina. Mustafa does that, and falls in love with her (she's older and limps) and in like with the dead man's young son.

When Mustafa goes back to the mine tailings, the men call the police who come get him, but decide he can't be competent to be held for killing the local man by luring him to the boxing ring. Mustafa goes on to find his mother's boyfriend's brother and gets him to come a long distance to box because the prize is a working Mercedes Benz. The semi-uncle wins and takes the Benz and sells it. Mustafa takes his part of money and hides it, telling Zina to share it with his mother.

The big man from boxing comes and says he'll kill the mother's boyfriend, who gets Mustafa to rob a money exchange shop, with them taking the results 50-50. As you might guess, there's no 50-50, but then again, Mustafa didn't leave the gun on the counter as he said. He narrates the rest -- the court decides he is competent and gives him six years (doesn't say on murder or robbery or both) -- but he gets out early and there are Zina and the not-so-little boy.

This was put out with a lot of help from the national culture commission and it does have a "don't be a bad person" feel, but I liked it.

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