(2004, Kazakhstan, 86 mins.)
Introduction and commentary by Alma Kunanbaeva, Dept. of Anthropology, Stanford
Language: Russian with English subtitles
Shiza (aka The Recruiter). Kazakhfilm, STV Company, 2004.
Fifteen-year-old Mustafa (Olzhas Nusupbayev) — nicknamed "Shiza" (Schizo) for his behavior in school — has no money, power or girls in his young life. Working for his mother’s boyfriend, Shiza scouts for fighters for the illegal, underground circuit of bare-knuckle fighting.
His life changes forever when a young fighter is accidentally mortally wounded in the ring. Before dying, the fighter asks Shiza to deliver his prize money to his wife Zinka (Olga Landina). In fulfilling the task, his life begins to take on new direction.
Awards: Prize for the best debut at the Kinotavr film festival (Sochi, 2006). Olzhas Nusupbaev won for best male lead at film festivals in Morocco in Tokyo, and the prize for the best female lead went to Olga Landina. Gulshat (Guka) Omarova won an Alice Award for Best Female Director by the Copenhagen International Film Festival, 2004.
Director Gulshat (Guka) Omarova (b. 1968). Writers Sergei Bodrov-Senior (b. 1948) and Guka Omarova. Cinematographer Khasan Kydyraliev. Producers: Alec Schulmann, Natacha Devillers, Sergei Azimov, Sergei Selyanov, Sergey Bodrov (Russia, Kazakhstan, France, Germany). Cast: Olzhas Nusupbaev, Eduard Tabishev, Olga Landina, Viktor Sukhorukov, Gulnara Yeralieva.
Free and open to the public