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Roads to Koktebel


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Product Details

  • Actors: Gleb Puskepalis, Igor Chernevich
  • Directors: Aleksei Popogrebsky, Boris Khlebnikov
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: Russian
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Film Movement
  • DVD Release Date: August 7, 2007
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000B58DIA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #306,664 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Roads to Koktebel" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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 or means of transport, they drift through the expansive landscapes of Russia at the mercy of chance. The father is content to meander as he tries to rebuild his self-respect, piece together his broken life & win back the trust of his son. Meanwhile, the boy impatiently dreams of reaching the mythic coastal resort to start a new life of emancipation and gliders flying in the wind. When the father meets & falls for a beautiful young doctor, the boy sees her as an intrusion on the only loving relationship in his life sets off to complete the journey by himself.

Review

Winner ----FIPRESCI Special Prize - Cannes Film Festival

In less talented hands, the plot could have turned into just another road movie. Instead, [Popogrebsky and Khlebnikov's] taut script, skill with performers and loving eye for natural beauty create a film that recalls vintage Terrence Malick. ----Variety

Customer Reviews

The interaction between father and son also comes across very natural.
Richard Crenwelge
And the characters seem real people, even if the plot is slightly farfetched.
Andres C. Salama
Acting was OK but not especially good and the story was not interesting.
R. House

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Ronald Scheer on October 8, 2007
Format: DVD
This Russian road movie finds a father and 11-year-old son traveling hundreds of miles on foot from Moscow to a village on the Black Sea. The pace is slow and hypnotic; the situation is unpromising. They are out of money and the season is turning gradually toward winter. The storyline itself is elliptical and relies little if it at all on exposition. We simply watch as the two trudge onward, under leaden skies and across rain-swept distances, depending on the kindness of strangers. The boy, worldly wise beyond his years and distrusting his father, dreams of flight and wind sailing. He has a mysterious sort of second sight that permits him to see himself and his surroundings from high above. Meanwhile, earthbound, the camera follows the two of them across endless sodden, forlorn landscapes.

The people they meet along the way are often little better off than they are, living in a kind of defeated ennui, making do, getting by, lonely, and often sustained by alcohol. One man offers them shelter and a roofing job on a house that seems to be abandoned and falling down. When a more generous householder makes the boy even more impatient to reach their destination, the father's unwillingness to press on precipitates a final crisis. Finally, the movie is a long, melancholy but lyrically told story, with fine performances, about life journeys and the contrast between youthful dreams and desperate realities.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Andres C. Salama on December 8, 2007
Format: DVD
A pleasant enough road movie, about a divorced man (or widowed, I don't remember) going with his young son from Moscow to the Crimea. He's an aeronautical engineer who has been fired and has hit the bad times (maybe with the recovery of Russia's economy under Putin, the argument is slightly out of date). We see them traveling through the countryside in a dilapidated train, and through the bad roads of Western Russia and Eastern Ukraine. Nothing much happens, but before reaching the Black Sea they stop at small towns, where they offer to repair the roof to a house where a mean old man lives, meet a pretty young doctor, etc. Some reviews I read wrote about the pair traveling through the desolate steppes of the former Soviet Union, yet this is some of the most fertile and densely populated part of that country. The pace is slow, though not terribly so, compared with traditional Russian cinema. And the characters seem real people, even if the plot is slightly farfetched. Reccommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By navissima on January 18, 2011
Format: DVD
A father and his 11 year old son embark on a journey across Russia to reach Koktebel, the Ukrainian seaside town. With no money they hop on trains and rely on 'kindness of strangers', who at times are not that kind at all.

Through a series of unexpected events, we see how their relationship if affected by quite often the opposite stands they take, but at the same time the support and warmth they have for each other.

This is a very emotional journey in the depth of family bonds and self-discovery.

Gleb Puskepalis (son of Sergei Puskepalis, star of Popogrebsky's later film Simple Things and Zvyagintsev's The Banishment) is excellent and very moving in his role of the son.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy1976 on June 4, 2012
Format: Amazon Instant Video
I agree that the pace was slow, but the story was very well drawn out for viewers. I look for films like this because, again, it was more about the disturbing (and somewhat depressing) story than 'the stuff that happens between the special FX'.

Hollywood doesn't seem to make cool movies like this anymore (Except for "The Road")

This wasn't the best film I've seen, but it was a welcome 'Change of pace' film, who's style seems to be disappearing. At least in the US.

Spasibo and Do Svidaniya
JS

If anyone is interested, see if you can find (and watch) "Lilya 4-Ever" (or, depending where you look, "Lilja 4-Ever") w/ Oksana Akinshina ...it's a 'sad ...but very real' story
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By RDSlug on October 14, 2007
Format: DVD
It's too bad the other reviewers couldn't enjoy this film. The whole idea of a 'road movie' is that the characters encounter different things and different people along the way and these things and people make an impression. The story - and there actually is one - is that the boy doesn't want to go in the beginning but when he realizes the significance of the journey, is compelled to finish it on his own.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lee Armstrong HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 12, 2008
Format: DVD
"Roads to Koktebel" is a film for the patient. It unfolds meticulously and slowly. After the opening titles, we focus on a drainage ditch underneath a road. We see a car go by. It rains. A dog comes and barks. Finally, our two main characters emerge and slowly pack up their meager belongings. About two minutes pass on the opening shot from the same camera angle. The scene shifts. We see the boy on a train. A long shot reveals the father asleep and the son staring out at the countryside passing. This takes about a minute and a half. This is a film that creates a compelling cinematic experience in a style the polar opposite of our stateside cinema.

Boris Khlebnikov has subsequently directed "Free Floating" in which Evgenii Sytyi who plays the railway inspector in "Koktebel" also has a part. His partner in direction and writing is Aleksei Popogrebsky who has since done a film with the English title "Simple Things." They are not in a hurry, which allows the subtleties of the experience to show. The Russian dialogue is sparse for those wary of subtitles.

Gleb Puskepalis plays the son. He does an excellent job. In a tightly controlled performance, the boy shows us his dependence on his father, his need for independence, his growing into manhood as he bravely takes off without his father, and his childhood self as he breaks down and cries. Aleksandr Ilyin who has been in over 30 films since 1960 plays a truck driver who transports the son to Koktebel and the Black Sea.

Igor Csernyevics who has done 10 films including "Junk" and "Guys from Mars" (English titles) also does a good job as the father. We see emotional levels peeled away. At first he is the down and out dad out of work and forced to travel to his sister's apartment in Crimea.
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