No problem arsaib4 .
Have seen Koktebel last year in November in a smal russian film festival, and a good German filmcritic/historian gave a little speech about it, where he said, that he wanted Koktebel to have been in the Venice film festival instead of "The Return", but had some problems with "jurors" (or whoever decides this kind of thing) in russia, and he thought it was the best russian film of a "new" filmmaker. Don't remember what he said about it anymore, and sadly I didn't have time after the film to talk with the director who was present, so here are some of my own thoughts.
A slovenian reviewer used the expression (roughly translated) that it is an outstanding example of "didactic films for older children" russia was so famous for in the past, and which have disappeared since the Soviet regime broke down. This is meant in a VERY positive way, and this view describes my experience of the film perfectly.
We have a father son relationship, where the mother is missing, and the father has no job, so both go on a trip through russia to "Koktebel", a town somewhere in the southwest (i think). During their voyage which is on foot, both have several more or less strange encounters with people whom they ask for some food, or a shelter in the night. Some are good, some are bad, most remain ambiguous, and the son gets to learn more and more about the world he lives in. During the yourney which begins to drag on to long Koktebel begin to be some kind of magic words (like the land of OZ), where the son hopes for all problems to be solved, and a normal life with his father (who told him about relatives who live their and will help them). When the two at one point start living with a lonely woman, who begins a relationship with the also lonely father, the son becomes jealous, and the fathers promises of soon moving on become a lie during the months they spend there. So, in the end the son starts alone to continue his journey, and at the end of the film, we will have a very interesting conclusion in Koktebel. I won't tell anything more, so as not to spoil the movie, if you haven't seen it yet. This story and the events that happen, aren't central to the film, but are "only" used as a catalysator to let the viewer see different stages of the father-son relationship. That's really all the film is about, and it gets more difficult to follow and complex, because the film is told from the child's point of view, and there isn't much (significant) dialkogue. Almost every important thing is expressed through glances of the characters, their body-language, the look in their eyes, and through what the camera chooses to show us ,and what not. In this it very much resembles Zvyagintsev's "The Return", and also in the use of symbolism, which isn't as heavy , but no less important. On the technical side we have also some long takes, abrupt cutting, frequent use of ellipses, and lots of irritating and unexplained events (or that's the way they are presented). In some scenes there is even a surrealist touch (you'll remember a radio-scene ).
I can thoroughly recommend it, and it is surely a great experience, if parents watch the film Together! with their children, and afterwards talk about it. I rated it *** / ****