This second feature film directed by Boris Khlebnikov (co-director of Roads to Koktebel) is a light comedy about a small provincial town on the river Volga and its peculiar citizens. In Russia, this film is seen as a ‘countryside comedy’.
Protagonist Lyonya lives a peaceful life in a provincial town with only one factory, one school and one kindergarten. The paths of his life seem to follow an unchangeable pattern and he, as many of the other citizens, has not many options. Lyonya follows his routines, goes to work, goes to the disco with friends, and exchanges a few words with his mother. An unexpected turn in his life comes, however, when the local factory is closed and he has to look for a new job. The lady in the job office has not much to offer but Lyonya goes for it and tries a few jobs. He ends up repairing roads with two other weird caricatures of workers and finds a new love as well. Lyonya finally seems to be happy, but then he finds out that his new boss is just a crook. Summer, work and love seem to disappear at the same time and he has to go looking for a new job again.
This nicely done slow-paced film is a realistic as well as sensitive reflection on the everyday absurdism of Russian provincial life - also shown through the specific language spoken. (LC)

Original title
Svobodnoe plavanie
Filmmaker
Boris Khlebnikov
Country
Russia
Year
2006
Medium
35mm
Length
101’
Language
Russian
Producer
Roman Borisevich
Production Company
Koktebel Film Company
Sales
Koktebel Film Company
Writer
Boris Khlebnikov, Alexander Rodionov
Cinematography
Shandor Berkeshi
Editor
Ivan Lebedev
Production Design
Olga Khlebnikova
Sound Design
Maxim Belovolov
Cast
Boris Petrov, Yevgeny Sytyi
Website
http://www.koktebel.cinemax.ru