Having lost the elder son on the war, Mustafa has to transfer his dead body to the homeland – Crimea. During this long and challenging trip, Mustafa tries to solve the innumerable problems and to find a common language with his younger son. On the way back home, the youngster becomes a man,finds his inner core, and understands who he is. At the same time, the father learns to admit his mistakes and apologise for them. Having lost the one they both loved, the father and the son grow genuinely close to each other.

Director's Statement

I’m Crimean Tatar (Qırımli). All of my previous short films talk about my people. There is always family and native land in the centre of these stories. These two values were brought up in me since birth ‐ there is nothing closer than my family, and there’s nothing more precious than the Motherland. I was lucky enough to be born in Crimea, Ukraine.

Bullying of the Crimean Tatar population on the peninsula began with the first Crimean annexation by Catherine II and ended with a total deportation in 1944. While the Crimean Tatar men fought against the Nazis in the Soviet arm, the personal Stalin’s order accused them collaborating with Hitler. At first light on May 18, Crimean Tatars were given 15 minutes to pack and then deported in the cattle wagons to the Central Asia and Siberia. Over 40% of the deportees died on the road and during the first years of deportation from starvation and diseases.

My parents were born in deportation in Uzbekistan. They lived for more than half of their life in a foreign country with the idea that their home was in Crimea. When they got an opportunity to return to Crimea, they did it. They left their work, house, friends and started everything from scratch. It was a tough period for all Crimean Tatars, who returned to the peninsula not due to, but in spite of.

But at the end of February, 2014, Russian troops occupied Crimea. Again, it became the center of confrontation, and Crimean Tatars – hostages. Our primary task, for now, is to preserve our culture, traditions, and language. In the 21st century, instead of mass destruction of nations, new hybrid
methods of war are used, destroying nations’ individuality and depriving them of integrity. Over the last five years, the occupants have conducted numerous surgical strikes to intimidate Crimean Tatars.
Murders, kidnappings, searches, arrests occur on regular basis regards to the Crimean Tatars living in Crimea. Under the pretense of “war on terror,” occupation authorities are doing everything possible to force people to leave their Motherland. Lawlessness, the absence of justice failure to comply with international human rights make Crimea the place of “silent terror,” where no one can feel safe.

It is important for me to show the real Crimean Tatars with all the advantages and disadvantages, as the perception of them is very generalized and stereotyped even in Ukraine. Quite often people abroad don’t realize such nation even exists.

The relationship between father and son is in the center of the film. Two generations meet: the generation of the father, who lived in deportation as a child. He had to sacrifice much to return to his homeland and begin his journey anew. And the generation of the son, who was born in Crimea and does not know what the Soviet Union is. On the way back home, they try to find a common language in order not to give up on each other and continue their journey.

I want this personal story to become a bridge for understanding who Crimean Tatars are and what is happening to them now.

Director's Biography

Nariman Aliev was born on 15 December 1992 in the village of Petrovka, Crimea, Ukraine.
In 2013, he received a bachelor’s degree from the Institute of Screen Arts named after Ivan Mykolaichuk, having majored as film and television director. In 2014, he received a master’s degree from Kyiv National Theater, Film and Television University named after I.K. Karpenko-­Kary as a television director. He is a member of the European Film Academy since 2019.

2016 - WITHOUT YOU, short
2014 - LOVE YOU, short

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Nariman Aliev

Written by: Nariman Aliev, Marysia Nikitiuk

Produced by: Vladimir Yatsenko

Cinematography: Anton Fursa

Editing: Oleksandr Chorny

Production Design: Vlad Odudenko

Costume Design: Anastasiia Sutyagina

Make-Up & Hair: Anastasiia Sutyagina

Sound: Serhiy Stapanskiy

Visual Effects: Eugene Lekh

Cast: Viktor Zhdanov (Uncle Vasya), Veronika Lukianenko (Masha), Akmal Gurezov (Refat), Larysa Yatzenko (Galina), Akhtem Seitablayev (Mustafa), Remzi Bilyalov (Alim), Dariya Barihashvili (Olesya), Anatoliy Marempolskiy (Nazim)

Nominations and Awards

  • Feature Film Selection 2019