The Swing | Chicago Reader

The Swing

A double bill of dialogueless black-and-white shorts by Kyrgyzstan's Aktan Abdikalikov (The Adopted Son). The Swing (1993, 48 min.) is an impressionistic montage of rural life involving a boy and the village idiot. They push a girl on a swing and play in the forest, then one of them dies. Abdikalikov keeps the story enigmatic, investing his attention on meticulously composed long takes (suggestive of Alexander Sokurov) and an evocative sound track. The comparably allusive The Dog Was Walking By (1989, 25 min.) assumes the viewpoint of a stray dog as it saunters through a bazaar, observes a vicious dogfight, and is finally captured. The realistic style makes the last minutes almost unbearable to watch.

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