Centaur (2017) - full transcript

Centaur is a quiet, small and modest man, a loving father of a little boy that has never spoken a word and the husband of young, deaf-mute Maripa. Together they lead a simple life in a small village of Kyrgyzstan. Centaur is above all a respected man among his neighbors, a man beyond any suspicion, but he has a belief deeply rooted inside him. He still believes that Kyrgyz people once united and invincible thanks to their horses, have been punished by Heavens for misusing that power to achieve their mercenary goals; Beyond any suspicion, Centaur becomes a horse thief, as he thinks only a genuine racer riding at night and praying for forgiveness can write off the curse. But his well-hidden secret cannot be kept for long. When the truth shines, he will need to decide the destiny of his family, co-villagers and his own.

Kyrgyz proverb

Hey, Suke!

Don't fool about, open up!

You'll lose anyway!

Hey, Suke!

Suke! Open it!

Hey, Mambet!
What are you doing? Mambet!

A film by Aktan Arym Kubat

Was it your shift?
- Yes, it was.

And you fell asleep?
- No.

It's odd. The dogs didn't bark.

Enough babble!

You know how much Lord is worth?
- Yes.

If the horse isn't found,

you'll be paying for it.


And what do you think?


He's the district's known horse-thief.

Call me if you catch him.

Let's go.

Pour some tea for Nurberdi.

You should talk more with your son.

You know the doctors say
that he has to hear people speak,

but you're busy all the time.

Let him play with other children.

He'll learn to speak
more quickly with them.

Nurberdi doesn't want to play
with anyone and only listens to you.

All right.

Push it harder.

No one could stand up

to the flashing, cleaving swords,

the speeding arrows...

and the hard, sharp spears
of Kyrgyz mounted warriors.

All enemies were defeated.

And the reason for this
were their horses...

who split the wind
with their chests,

shook the earth with their hoofs,
and rushed forth like a flood.

And lending wings to them,
the patron of horses,

holy Kambar Ata...

Come here.

God bless you.



Will you spit it out alone
or shall I help you?

What's that, Commander?

Don't pretend, you bastard.

There'll be big races in autumn.

I ordered a racehorse
especially for those races.

It cost fifty thousand.

Do you hear?
Fifty thousand euros!

Last night someone stole him!

They say you had a hand in it.

Wait, Commander.

I swear on my children it wasn't me!

Commander, yes, I am a thief.

But I don't steal racers, Commander.

I steal herds
and take them to Kazakhstan,

or I bring them here from Kazakhstan.

They go to the slaughterhouse
and to the market.

Don't be smart!

Maybe people who envy me
told you to do it! Like Turdu, say!

there's honour among thieves!

I'm a born and raised horse-thief.

But I'd rather die than break my oath,

I know...

I know... what your oath is worth!

Let's wait a bit.
Then we'll see...

How are you?

Fine, thanks.

Shall I pour you some more?
- Please. Your maksym is delicious.

Some more?
- No...

That's enough! Thanks!

Can you put it on my tab?
- Yes.

You forgot your thing!

Thanks. Goodbye.
- Come again when you're thirsty. -Okay.

So, you say
we used to be centaurs a long time ago?

Jakyp was for sure.

He never fails to hit on a woman.
A real stallion!

What's the news?
- The missionaries are here.

You take care of them.

Boss, I tried. They want to speak to you.
- Come here.

I told you to go deal with them!
- Okay.

Listen to them,
they're close to God.

It might help you.

Go sit down.



I'm listening.
- Hello!

May peace and calm
reign in your charitable house.

May nothing sadden you
under gracious Allah's sky.

Thank you for your wishes. And so?
- Mr Karabay...

we all live
under Allah's all-seeing eye.

And we hope not to waste our lives
on this mortal earth.

We are just servants of Allah.
- I too...

consider myself faithful.
Get to the point!

Excuse us, respected sir.

The time of the sacred Hajj to Mecca
is drawing close.

He who completes the Hajj
fulfils one of the five sacred duties.

He who takes upon himself
the expenses of another Muslim

can mitigate his sins twofold.

If I pay for the three of you,

my sins will be mitigated threefold?
- Four times over! Four times!

Let's go. Follow me.

Hey, come on.

Come here.


You are close to God, unlike myself.

I want you to pray to God
and find my horse that was stolen.

If you succeed, I'll cover your expenses
for the journey to Mecca.

Go ahead.

It's time to sleep.

Let's get you undressed.

Off to bed.

Bless you.

Live long.
That's it. Sleep.

"The Red Apple" by Tolomush Okeyev


Good news!
- I'm in your debt! Show him!

I took out my herd this morning
and saw this strange horse.

He's obviously a noble stallion.
I knew he was yours.

Lord, Lord, Lord!
I found you! You're alive!

Alive, my sweetheart!

Reward Arzy for the good news.

How much do I give?
- Work it out yourself for a change.

Thank you very much!

Live long, Arzy.

How are you doing?


There's no maksym left...

And I wanted to go home early today.

May I walk you home?

Walk me home?


When you were the projectionist
at the club,

I often went to the cinema.


I love Indian films.

For example, "Sangam"...


I've projected "Sangam" so many times!

I like it too.
- When you brought a new film,

you always had this very serious air.


You never told us
what film would be shown that evening.


And I would wait with my friends
till evening.

We'd wait for you
to hang up the poster.

You still remember all that?

I'm going to Bombay

To look for a job

What am I to do

If there's no work
for a poor guy like me?




Is your mother home? Call her.

Someone's come here.

How are you?
I came to talk to you...

Your husband has a lover.

Another woman, I say.

Damn, how can I explain this to her?

Ah, you want me to write it?

In Russian?

I saw them with my own eyes.

Okay, I'm in a hurry...

Where did you come from?

You, woman, tell me. Who is he?

What's your problem?

Go home!


- My bags. I need to get my bags.

Hey, you degenerate!

If I see you here again,
I'll break your legs!

You hear?
- Don't touch him. Don't!



Who is he?
- It's not your business!

We all live under Allah's all-seeing eye.

We are just servants of Allah.

A Muslim's duty must be performed.

All we are doing
is what the Prophet Muhammad said.

Come to the mosque.

Oh, thank you, my dear, thank you!

Come to the mosque.

Thanks to the grace of God,
and with the help of your prayers...

My horse has been found!

Thank God.
- How are you, sir?

Let's go! Now you are my dear guests!
Come on. Come...

Let's go.
- Come in the evening to the mosque!

Good that he was found.
- Right.

You brought me luck!
- Thanks be to Allah.

Good to hear.

Hey, Nurberdi.

Are you going to talk some day?

A hare.

A horse.

It rides this way, right?

And this is a dog.

You show us now.

What happened?

Nothing. I'm just not in a good mood.

Listen, there's a faith healer
in the next village.

Shall we go and show her Nurberdi?

You believe in that?



All right.

Let's go there, okay?

I don't regret at all...

I don't regret
not being able to speak or hear.

Are you tired?

- Hello.

How are you?

How are you?
- Fine.

Who's last in line?
- I am. You can go before me. You go.

Okay, goodbye.

Go inside.
You came from afar. Go ahead.

Go in.

Boss, Sadyr's here.
- So what?


Come, Sadyr, come.

Don't take it bad.

Forgive me, my dear.

Get down.

Tell me what you came for.

Cool that your horse has been found.
- Right.

But I'll always be a suspect

until the real thief has been found.

You know who did it?


But I have an idea.
- Let's hear it.

You know
there've been similar cases nearby?

And the horses were found.
- I heard. The best racers were taken.

But I didn't much care. Carry on.

As the horses
were returned to their owners,

nobody reported it
and there was no investigation.

I want to catch the bastard
and stop the slander against me!

What's required of me?

Turdu bought a new racer.

But he hasn't mentioned it yet
and is training in secret

so he can announce it
right before the races.

So he bought it, after all!
Green with envy.

Commander, I suggest we talk to Turdu.
- Why?

Let's start a rumour
that he brought a great racer

who's faster than Lord!

The thief will take the bait!
- What if he doesn't?

He will! He has no choice!

His obsession won't leave him in peace.


Call Turdu.

Hello Turdu! It's me, Karabay...

A long, long time ago...

Kyrgyz people had...

a malicious...

and greedy...

governor, Merez khan.

He declared war on other peoples

and began to conquer their lands.

Merez khan
turned the subjugated people into slaves,

burnt their houses
and severely punished those who resisted.

Then, one night, summoned by the prayers
of these unfortunate people,

the patron of horses, Kambar Ata,
descended in the form of a horse

upon Merez khan.

He said: "Hey, Merez khan!

Do not harm people

and stop destroying everything!"

The cunning Merez khan
ordered that the speaking horse

be seized and slaughtered.

When the warriors lassoed Kambar Ata

and tried to kill him,

he vanished into the air.

Because of accursed Merez khan,

prosperity and well-being
left our lands for centuries.

And so far,
no fine fellow with a pure heart

has been found to ride the fastest steed
through a moonlit night

and call on Kambar Ata,
spiritual patron of all horses,

and ask for his forgiveness!

Your Sharapat has had her fill
of her lover's lash. She's stuck at home.


You go and ask her.

Maybe she needs comfort
or a massage of some kind.

In summer, as the moon was full

Among a thousand flowers
On a hilly mountain

Was a girl in love with blossom

She I still recall

Her moonlike face remains in my memory

Oh, in my memory...

Oh, in my memory...

You've heard?
Karabay has found his racer.

It was ridden hard and let go.

I told you Sadyr had a hand in it.

Sadyr leaves no traces!
You know that.

Again your prattle!
- I don't prattle!

Turdu had someone steal Lord
to spoil its shape.

Because his own horse is racing, too.

Don't talk rubbish!

Would someone steal a horse,
then free it?

Don't believe me?
Turdu got himself a new racer.

Take hold!

My brother works for him.
He told me.

Turdu bought him a month ago
for 150,000 dollars,

then hid him at the hippodrome in town
to train him there in secret.

Now he pampers him in his stable!

People say your horse cost a great deal.
- All lies.

I bought him for 20,000 dollars.
But he's a thoroughbred, that's for sure!

Where is he?

Here you are!

My precious!

Will your maniac appear today?

He'd better.
We've spread the rumour all around.

He will.

He'll appear when least expected.

Well, you know best...

What's this?

That's my alarm system.

Oh, damn.

Do you know geese saved Rome?
- Yeah.

You believe that?

I do.
They guard better than dogs!

Let's go, Turdu,
there's nothing for us to do here.

Let's celebrate Lord's been found.

I already had the sauna heated.

We'll take a steam, drink cool beer,
invite some company.

And then we go to my place.

Watch out! He'll hardly come tonight.
But be on guard just the same!

If I were him, I'd come today!
- Well, we'll see!


Who is it?

I've come to pay my debt...

Come in. I'm a little sick.

Sit down!
- Please, don't worry. -No, do sit.

I'll put on some tea!

I got paid today,
so I came to clear my debt.

Make yourself comfortable.
I'll put the tea on!

On the market...

Burma told me...

Why should I hide from you?

After all, we are no longer children...

The man you saw last time is Sadyr.

After my husband's death,
he stood by me, supported me...

But now...

I'm more disappointed with him
by the day.

Did he beat you?

And is this lad your husband?

Yes, my husband.

We only lived together for half a year
after our marriage, then...


he perished in Afghanistan.

It's been almost 25 years now
that I've lived alone.

Sadyr and my husband
served together in Afghanistan.

What am I doing sitting here?
I'll bring the tea!



Didn't I say your husband has a lover?
You don't believe me!

Oh, damn!
I have to write it for you!



Believe me now?
Give that here!

That's enough.
- Have more.

No, that's enough for me.
- Have some more.

I've really had enough.

I wanted maksym.

How stupid I am!
It didn't occur to me! Wait.


If you only knew...

how I wait for you
to come and drink maksym every day!

And to see you.

You're not like everyone else.

You don't even know what you're like.

You have such kind eyes!

I always feel... the warmth in your eyes.

You know...
- My wife and son are waiting at home.

What happened?

You have another woman?

Who told you that?

I saw you in the house of the woman
who sells maksym.

You followed me?
- What did you do there?

I drink her maksym.

I owed her money.

That's all!
Don't bug me!

Come to me.

My darling.

Looks like he's here!

I can't see.
- Wait.

You'll see him now.

I'll go and look.

You'll scare him away.

Let's go!

Call Turdu and Karabay quick!

Catch him!

You idiots!
It's me, Sadyr!

Let go of me!

What are you waiting for?
Catch the thief!

Stop there!

Catch him! Catch him!

Cut him off!

Grab him!

Stop! I said stop!
Don't touch him! Get off!

Shut the gate.

Brother? It's you? It was you?

Hey, Karabay, damn you!

What are you doing? Is this a joke!
- Wait.

Are you and your guys
having a laugh at my expense?

I'll punish him myself, Turdu!

All your kin are thieves!

I'll punish him myself, Turdu!

Turdu, I'm sorry. This is on me!

Just be patient! Be patient.


Come along. Come.


Come inside.

Stay here a while.
Don't let anybody in.

Sit down.

Sit down.

Did you think about your son?

How old is he?

He is five.

And your wife is an invalid!

If you go to prison,
how will they manage?

Why did you do it? Tell me.

I thought you'd beat me!

I'd do that and worse
if you were a stranger.

Hey, brother!

Why did you do it?
Tell me. Why?

A long time ago...

when we were as strong
and united as a fist,

Europeans called us centaurs...
- I know the story! I know it!

Because of it you lost your name
and people mockingly call you Centaur!

Tell me honestly, brother!

Why do you steal racers
and ride at night like a crazed man?

Is it a passion?

Our ancestors...

lived in peace and harmony.

Let's take our grandfathers.

They always shared with each other,

and were inseparable as brothers.

And yet we're already strangers
even though we're related.

Why do people become mean-spirited?

You're right.

Our grandfathers
shared a father and a mother.

And for long years,
our kin have been connoisseurs of horses.

But brother,
don't say we are like strangers.

Each has his own destiny.
It turned out that I became rich.

Or did you steal my horse out of envy?

That's not what I mean.
- Let's talk straight.

I treat you like a relative.

I arranged your marriage,

paid all the expenses.

You could have found someone else
instead of Maripa.

But in fact you were still a bachelor
at the age of fifty!

And Maripa is not a bad wife.

She bore you a son, runs the household.
What else do you need?

Want me to get you that
maksym-saleswoman Sharapat as concubine?

Why give me that look?
The entire village gossips about it!

Brother... my dear...

tell me the truth.


Why do you steal racers
and ride at night like a crazed man?

Tell me, my dear, tell me.

Once I had a dream.

The great Kambar Ata came to me
in the form of a white horse.

He said,
"Long ago, we came in herds to you

from the waters of the great rivers

to be as brothers to you

and as horses,
to become the wings of humans.

We lived on this land
as inseparable friends.

But then...

humans mistook themselves for gods,

and began to despoil mother nature

for the sake of wealth and power."

When I remember Kambar Ata's eyes,

and see the tears of horses
slaughtered for feasts,

my heart breaks
and there is no peace within me!

We feel no shame...

when we say
the horse is the wings of man.

We lost our wings!

We lost our spirit!

We have turned into monsters!

Move along.

Turn to the wall.

Go inside.

To have a horse-thief in our village
brings dishonour upon us!

Now the whole district is laughing at us!

What shall we do with him?

What suggestions are there?

Dear fellow villagers!

I, too, am upset
that we have a thief in our village!

Especially since he's my relative!

But his deed...

how should I put it...

It's hard to even call him a thief.

My fellows,

we all have nomadic ancestors.

Since time immemorial,
we have been inseparable from horses.

When my brother saw a good racer,

his Kyrgyz blood boiled
and he couldn't stop himself.

There is much else I could say,
but, in short...

my brother can work in my stables.

He is the son of a horse-herder,
so let him look after horses.

If he wants to ride a racehorse,
let him take any he likes.

And moreover,

in order to cleanse his soul,

I will take him to the Hajj, to Mecca.
- That's right!

When he sees a holy place...
he will come to his senses.


If you don't disagree.

Why do you indulge him?

The only place for him is jail!

He'll come to his senses
when he eats jail gruel!

Let him be punished
for an innocent man being blamed!


A thief himself and see how he speaks!

Who let you speak?
Shut your mouth!

His family isn't enough for him,
he goes after other women!

Shame on you!

- Sit down and shut up!

Silence, silence! Calm down!

Any other suggestions?


Then I ask
those in favour of Karabay's offer

to raise their hands.



Well, and what do you say, Centaur?

Hey, you bastard...

If I ever see you again...

you bastard...

I'll break your legs!

You bastard!

If I see you again,

I'll drag you behind my horse
until you're dead!

I know why you steal racers!

I know you're looking for Al-Buraq.

Buraq who?
- Don't you know?

Al-Buraq is the Prophet's horse.

The Prophet flew on Al-Buraq
up to the seventh heaven...

to behold Allah with his own eyes.

How else would the illiterate Prophet

have gained
so much knowledge and wisdom?

You want to get closer to God
and are looking for your Al-Buraq, right?

Yours is a good dream.

But people won't understand you.

People are ignorant, unschooled.

Not only do they not understand,
they think you a fool and laugh at you.


must never
tell your sacred wish to anyone.

It should be kept deep in your soul.

I also have a secret.

I can see little angels,
patrons of rivers, lakes and mountains.

Sometimes I talk

and share my ideas with them
when there's no one around.

I know Islam regards it as heresy.

So I wear the mask of a fool.

You too should pretend to be a simpleton

and they'll leave you alone.

Otherwise it'll end badly.

I have six daughters.

The angels said
my seventh child will be a son.

Let people laugh at me,

in the end my wish will come true.


Good evening.
- Evening.

Come inside, please!
- No, thank you.

Do you know where Maripa has gone?

She left without a word.

Don't worry.
She has no place to go.

She'll be back soon.
I know women...

Maybe you'll have something to eat?
- No, thanks.


Jibek, bring bread!

At least break bread...

"The Red Apple" by Tolomush Okeyev

It seems Centaur is lustful!

That is why his wife and son left him.
- Why mention that here?

He's both a thief and a trouble-maker!

I don't know what the court of elders
thinks, but I suggest severe punishment.

Take a look at you!

Young Kyrgyzs never wore beards
or clothes like underwear.

Kyrgyzs wear that to bed.

You desert your family
to do missionary work!

Hey, woman, shut your mouth!

Hey, smart ass!
- What?

I'll have you know,
Kyrgyz women have ruled the people,

battled enemies
and saved their native land!

Isn't that right?
- It is! Yes!

And you cover them from head to foot,

isolate them from people
and brainwash them!

Get out of my sight, you heretic!

Watch your tongue!
- I'm watching it already.

Faith is to help men become pure.

You use it as a tool to drive them mad!
- That's enough! Be quiet!

Aren't you ashamed?

We all know Karabay
has been a good relative to Centaur.

However, the problem...

is not in Karabay,

it's in Centaur.

You are all fervent
about tradition and customs.

I cannot break with tradition, either.

I also don't see any other solution

than to expel Centaur...
from our village.

That's right!
This elder acts wisely!

All those in favour raise your hands!
Get out of here!

Be tolerant! Be merciful!

He must leave!

That's right! It's right! He must leave!

To the horses!

Hey, stop!

Stop, you bastard!


I'll shoot you!

Stop, you beast!
I'll shoot you!


- Speak.


Keep saying it.