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San Francisco International Film Festival @ BAM/PFA

Monday, April 28, 2014
6:30 p.m. Bauyr (Little Brother)
Seric Aprymov (Kazakhstan, 2013)

Eight-year-old Yerkin is an immensely resourceful if irascible third grader. He lives in Bulak, a small village on the steppes of Kazakhstan, where his keen observations of grown-ups are sometimes humorous and always honest. Yerkin makes bricks for a living when not in school, where he gets in trouble for shooting spitballs and learns how to recite Lermontov in Russian. At an age when he can pass under the radar of adults undetected or ignored, this determined lad provides a uniquely unfiltered view of his village and its quirky inhabitants. He valiantly lives alone next door to his aunt—because his mother passed away and his father is away on a business trip—and eagerly awaits the return of his brawny adult brother, Aidos, who lives in the city. Director Seric Aprymov skillfully weaves a complex, archetypal, and slyly humorous story of good and bad brothers into the simple rhythms of Yerkin’s daily life. Almat Galym’s performance as Yerkin is enchanting and poignant; his struggles to be a good person and his longing for his mother pass over the features of his expressive young face like a breeze or a cloud floating in the wide-open Kazakh sky.

—Nancy K. Fishman

• Written by Aprymov. Photographed by Aleksandr Rubanov. With Almat Galym, Alisher Aprymov. (97 mins)

Tickets on sale April 4. Online tickets are available through the SFFS ticketing system. Follow the link below and select "buy tickets." BAM/PFA members receive a discount online by using a special promo code. If you are a member and did not receive the code by email, please call (510) 642-5186.

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