KOKTEBEL is the award winning first feature by two Russian film makers, Boris Khlebnikov and Alexei Popogrebsky. They are part of the Russian New Wave of young directors and their script won the European Pitch Point Event in Berlin in 2001. At the Moscow Film Festival in 2003 the completed film won the Grand Prize as well as the FIPRESCI Award and at the Karlovy Vary festival it won the Phillip Morris Prize.
The film was shown in Toronto, Pusan, Palm Springs, Berlin (Forum) and Sofia, as well as Cannes, where it showed as FIPRESCI REVELATION OF THE YEAR 2003 in the Critics’ Week, chosen as ‘best of the best’ among the young filmmakers for 'its depth and variation of characters, its rich humour, its subtle interweaving of spirituality, its clever script and its mature classical direction.'
After his wife’s death and the loss of his job, an aerodynamics engineer sets off from Moscow with his 11 year old son for his sister's house in Koktebel by the Black Sea. With no money nor means of transport, they drift through the expansive and mesmeric landscapes at the mercy of chance. The father is content to drag his feet, stopping occasionally for the odd job to raise money while the son impatiently dreams of reaching the costal resort to see gliders fly in the wind. For the father, the journey is an attempt to restore self-respect, to piece together his broken life and win back the trust of his son. For the boy, the mythic costal town holds the key to a new life and emancipation.
They come across many hurdles but the last encounter is with a beautiful young doctor who tends to the father's wounds. Since she is single and lonely they begin to fall for each other. The son who sees her as an intrusion on the only loving relationship in his life sets off to complete the journey by himself...
The relationship between father and son is genuinely expressed through illuminating details. A simple plot, gracefully composed with stunning lyrical visuals, spaced-out dreamy shots and a loving eye for natural beauty... recalls vintage Terrence Malick For the spectator it is a charming riddle, a hypnotic road movie that has a balance between an earthly realism and a parable open to symbolism and interpretation. It is also the story of the Russian landscape and the people living in the countryside: writers and directors Khlebnikov and Popogrebsky travelled together with the director of photography Shandor Berkeshi for over 4000 kilometres through rural Russia and the Ukraine to find locations for the film. KOKTEBEL was first conceived in 1995. First draft was completed in 1998. In May of 2000, writers/directors Khlebnikov and Popogrebsky and director of photography Berkeshi set off on an expedition along the route of the protagonists from Moscow to the eponymous town at the Crimean Peninsula in order to gather additional material and search for locations. Covering 4,000 km of country roads and sleeping in a tent, they took pictures of landscapes and people of rural Russia and Ukraine. Two more expeditions followed in 2001 and 2002.
4 STARS OUT OF 5
Nov. 2015: back in stock.
Below are scans from the UK dvd. Useful to look at the back cover for details such as subtitles and special features sometimes missed in the text above. Time and again 'product descriptions' are wrong or are missing crucial information so it's really worth checking the scans below. If subtitles aren't mentioned on the back cover then they won't be on the Dvd. Click on
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Condition: Used - very good. More details here.
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Price: £8.99 UK Sterling
(Shipped from UK) (Price includes UK postage & packaging only. Outside UK here)
Nov. 2015: back in stock. Official release. Condition: 'used - very good'.
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Price: $24.99 US Dollars.
(Shipped from UK) (Price includes Outside UK Air Mail postage & packaging only.
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