Cinema Releases - Homeward
Fiftysomething Mustafa (Akhte Seitablaev) and his moody college son, Alim (Remzi Bilyalov) have set out to a morgue in Kiev, Ukraine to recover the shrapnel-laden body of Alim’s older brother, Nazim, yet another young Ukranian life ill-fated by the war with Russia. Although Mustafa has been living in Kiev with his Orthodox wife, Oleysa (Dariya Barihashvili), he is insistent that his son is given a traditional Muslim burial beside his mother’s grave, but excludes Oleysa from the roadtrip. The journey is time-sensitive, as Mustafa must speedily return the body in keeping with Muslim burial laws.
Mustafa is a hot-tempered and severe man and his wife speaks of his dangerous nature. Alim is shocked by Mustafa’s treatment of her and they develop a close telephonic relationship. There is also tension between father and son as city-life has exacerbated the generational gap between Mustafa and Alim. However, one commonality unites them – their shared language of Crimean Tatar. Along the way, they face many obstacles, not least of which is a decomposing cadaver, and Alim is hard-pressed to accept his father’s determination to uphold tradition at all costs. However, the on-going challenges encourage the pair to better understand each other and profoundly impacts their relationship.
World Premiere Cannes Film Festival 2019 – Uncertain Regard
Winner Jury Award and Best Performance Award Winner Cannes Film Festival 2019 – Un Certain Regard
Length: 98 minutes
Languages: Tatar/Ukrainian/Russian with English subtitles