Roads to Koktebel (2003) - Rotten Tomatoes

Roads to Koktebel (2003)

Roads to Koktebel





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

The Russian writing/directing team of Boris Khlebnikov and Alexei Popogrebsky makes their feature debut with the road movie Koktebel. Starting in Moscow, a widowed alcoholic father (Igor Chernevich) and his 11-year-old son (Gleb Puskepalis) set out on foot headed for the Crimean town of Koktebel. Along the way, they meet up with grumpy recluse Mikhael (Vladimir Kucherenko), who ends up shooting the father during a drunken brawl. Luckily, local doctor Xenia (Agrippina Steklova) fixes him up, leading to a romance. The father stays with her, while the son finishes the journey by himself. Koktebel was shown at the 2003 Karlovy Vary Film Festival.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Romance, Art House & International
Directed By: , ,
Written By: Boris Khlebnikov, Aleksei Popogrebsky, Alexei Popogrebsky
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 8, 2006
Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation


Igor Chernevich
as The Father
Igor Csernyevics
as The Father
Evgeniy Sytyi
as Railway Inspector
Alexander Ilyin
as Truck Driver
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Roads to Koktebel

All Critics (2)

here the father and son are not so much returning home as trying to build a new one on the foundations of Russia's history, in a terra incognita where values, and even names, have changed.

Full Review… | January 11, 2011
Eye for Film

A road movie that plays out as a restrained human drama, that's mysterious and keenly observant.

Full Review… | August 20, 2007
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Roads to Koktebel


I liked it up until the end (I do NOT like cruelty to animals).

FanGirl Browncoat

Super Reviewer


Shot in the lingering, moody style of Terence Mallick, this a "road" movie of a father and son (age 10) in contemporary Russia. Dad's jobless and flat broke. So now they're traveling any way they can to get to Koktebel a thousand miles away on the Crimean coast, where there's a relative and possible work. They have some episodes en route (including one love affair for Dad--PG rated). Then they get separated...but find each other again. The film ends. Like a Chekhov short story this plot doesn't have the standard Beginning, Middle, End. Just the Middle. Hence I wouldn't recommend it to most Americans but I kinda liked it. Certainly gets an A grade for authenticity.

Hal Morris

Even if the characters were separated and distant from the viewer, we still felt compelled to help them and to know them. Khlebnikov and Popogrebsky used long, wide shots to show this growing distance, even between the characters. Little to no background music was used, giving the film a feeling of reality--cold, harsh reality.
The boy looks out of the attic window in one scene, the light and framing working in harmony to produce an utterly beautiful shot. The contrast between the warm golden candle-lit attic and the dreary nighttime scenery outside mirrors the contrast between the boy's desire to go to Koktebel and the responsibility he feels towards staying with his alcoholic father. The boy's maturity is strange, but reasonable as we find out what his childhood was like.
In the attic scene, we view the boy from behind. Then, the camera angle switches to below, looking up into the attic. The silhouette of the son is once again symmetrically framed. We cut back to the behind-shot of the boy, and once again the warm glow surrounds us. Then the camera switches again, back to the below-looking-up shot, and the coldness of the night replaces the glow. The back-and-forth switches signifies the inner turmoil felt by the boy.
Finally, the boy leaves. He runs off, leaving his father with the final words "All you do here is fuck each other." In response, the father calls his son an idiot, showing the man's immaturity and ignorance.
Getting a ride from a friendly truck-driver [about whom I had my doubts], the boy reaches Koktebel, which is now called a different name. He stands at the top of a hill, at the glider monument. His father had earlier told him that at this spot, a piece of paper would fly far away if you let it go. The boy tries this, and fails. Fail a second time, then a third. His continual failure, and the accompanying apathy, causes the viewer to cringe in sympathy and worry. The paper won't fly. Then, the fourth time: it flies. It glides out of the frame, and the boy runs after it. The camera lingers, then blacks out into the next shot.
Superb camerawork and timing by the directors, plus the very believable humanity of the actors, make this film a sad but glorious work.

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