You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Venice Film Review: ‘Little Brother’

Kazakh writer-director Seric Aprymov's drama feels like a gentler-tempered, less sophisticated sibling of the recent 'Harmony Lessons.'

With:

Almat Galym, Alisher Aprymov. (Kazakh, Russian, English dialogue)

A 9-year-old boy struggles to get by at school and at home after being abandoned by most of his family in “Little Brother,” a Kazakh drama that in itself feels like a gentler-tempered, less sophisticated sibling of “Harmony Lessons,” a recent Berlinale competitor from the same country. Writer-helmer Seric Aprymov goes easy on the sentimentality and elicits pretty good performances from his mostly non-pro cast, but there’s not much here that hasn’t been seen in a lot of like-minded other films. The best bet for “Little Brother” would be to ride “Harmony Lessons’” coattails into rephouse seasons profiling new Kazakh cinema.

Stoic schoolboy Yerkin (Almat Galym, adorable) is living all by himself in the family home given that Mom is dead, Dad is permanently away “on business” and big brother Aidis (Alisher Aprymov) is away studying in the city. When not at school, where he’s bullied and seen as a trouble maker by teachers, he’s fending for himself making bricks by hand, although adults exploit his innocence to rip him off. Things improve a bit when Aidis comes home, but not much. Humorous moments and the final good-guys’ triumph lighten the mood somewhat.

Venice Film Review: 'Little Brother'

Reviewed at Venice Film Festival (Horizons), Sept. 6, 2013. Running time: 93 MIN. Original title: "Bauyr"

Production:

(Kazakhstan) A Kazakhfilm production. (International sales: Kazakhfilm, Almaty.) Produced by Seric Aprymov. Executive producers, Gulmira Zaripova, Dinara Aprymova.

Crew:

Directed, written by Seric Aprymov. Camera (color), Alexander Rubanov; music, Kuat Shildebayev; assistant director, Elmira Aprymova.

With:

Almat Galym, Alisher Aprymov. (Kazakh, Russian, English dialogue)

More Film

  • 'A Happening of Monumental Proportions' Review:

    Film Review: 'A Happening of Monumental Proportions'

    A 9-year-old boy struggles to get by at school and at home after being abandoned by most of his family in “Little Brother,” a Kazakh drama that in itself feels like a gentler-tempered, less sophisticated sibling of “Harmony Lessons,” a recent Berlinale competitor from the same country. Writer-helmer Seric Aprymov goes easy on the sentimentality […]

  • 'Johnny English Strikes Again' Review: Sorry,

    Film Review: 'Johnny English Strikes Again'

    A 9-year-old boy struggles to get by at school and at home after being abandoned by most of his family in “Little Brother,” a Kazakh drama that in itself feels like a gentler-tempered, less sophisticated sibling of “Harmony Lessons,” a recent Berlinale competitor from the same country. Writer-helmer Seric Aprymov goes easy on the sentimentality […]

  • France Selects 'Memoir of War' as

    France Selects 'Memoir of War' as Foreign-Language Oscar Candidate

    A 9-year-old boy struggles to get by at school and at home after being abandoned by most of his family in “Little Brother,” a Kazakh drama that in itself feels like a gentler-tempered, less sophisticated sibling of “Harmony Lessons,” a recent Berlinale competitor from the same country. Writer-helmer Seric Aprymov goes easy on the sentimentality […]

  • Todd Haynes

    Todd Haynes to Direct Drama 'Dry Run' (EXCLUSIVE)

    A 9-year-old boy struggles to get by at school and at home after being abandoned by most of his family in “Little Brother,” a Kazakh drama that in itself feels like a gentler-tempered, less sophisticated sibling of “Harmony Lessons,” a recent Berlinale competitor from the same country. Writer-helmer Seric Aprymov goes easy on the sentimentality […]

  • Jakob Dylan2018 Film Festival Opening Night

    LA Film Festival: Jakob Dylan Talks Music Documentary 'Echo in the Canyon'

    A 9-year-old boy struggles to get by at school and at home after being abandoned by most of his family in “Little Brother,” a Kazakh drama that in itself feels like a gentler-tempered, less sophisticated sibling of “Harmony Lessons,” a recent Berlinale competitor from the same country. Writer-helmer Seric Aprymov goes easy on the sentimentality […]

  • Joaquin Phoenix Joker

    See Joaquin Phoenix in Joker Makeup

    A 9-year-old boy struggles to get by at school and at home after being abandoned by most of his family in “Little Brother,” a Kazakh drama that in itself feels like a gentler-tempered, less sophisticated sibling of “Harmony Lessons,” a recent Berlinale competitor from the same country. Writer-helmer Seric Aprymov goes easy on the sentimentality […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content