Crimean Tatar ‘Homeward’ Named Best Film in Bucharest
The film deal's with a family's loss in the wake of Russia's annexation of the Crimean peninsula
Photo from Cannes Film Festival
The Crimean Tatar film ‘Homeward,’ set in Crimea, the Ukrainian territory annexed by Russia, won the award for Best Film of the International Film Festival in Bucharest.
The picture tells the story of a Crimean Tatar, Mustafa (Akhtem Seitablaev), whose two sons went to Kyiv after Crimea’s annexation. The film begins with Mustafa and his son Alim (Remzi Bilyalov), who arrive at a Kyiv morgue to collect the body of his eldest son Nazim, who died in a battle of the ongoing Ukraine-Russia war. Mustafa wants to bury his son in Crimea in accordance with Muslim traditions.
“Plainly operating on a small budget, Aliev does good work with limited resources in Homeward. His actors bring intense conviction, especially Seitablaev, who succeeds in finding a sympathetic seam of wounded despair beneath Mustafa’s self-destructive rage. Anton Fursa’s camerawork is pleasingly agile, sticking close to the protagonists in a freewheeling docudrama style that amplifies their internalized emotions. While the overall tone is naturalistic, a final boat journey to Crimea strikes a more poetic, symbolic, allegorical note. Aliev clearly has plenty to say on this rich subject, but too much remains unspoken in this melancholy ballad of exile and loss,” Hollywood Reported review said.
The film’s Ukrainian premier will be at the 10th Odesa International Film Festival.