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Adonis XIV & Sel’kincek

The two films Adonis XIV (1977) by Bako Sadykov and Sel’kincek (The Swing, 1993) by Aktan Arym Kubat represent two outstanding examples of Central Asian cinema before and after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Shot sixteen years apart from each other, these two shorts culminate in poetic film languages of the region—one reflecting a harsh reality through the prism of a slaughterhouse, the other diving into a coming-of-age story by revealing an intimate universe during the perestroika years.

Adonis XIV by Bako Sadykov reveals the story of a billy goat who leads a herd of animals—cows, horses, and other goats—to their deaths in a slaughterhouse. The film was censored until 1987, but received wide public recognition afterwards.

Against the backdrop of a barren and hostile environment that reigned in the Kyrgyz province in the first half of the 1990s, Sel’kincek unfolds the story of an 11-year-old boy who overcomes an emotional crisis through a creative sublimation. Sel’kincek is the first film of an autobiographical trilogy by director Aktan Arym Kubat, followed by Beshkempir—the Adopted Son (1998) and Maimyl (The Chimp, 2001).

The screening of the films is followed by a discussion with Aktan Arym Kubat, moderated by Saodat Ismailova.
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