A visually striking look at the relationship between a Crimean Tatar father and son.
Alissa Simon for Variety
Visually striking, the father-and-son-bonding drama “Homeward” unfolds against the backdrop of a fraught road trip from Kyiv to Russia-annexed Crimea. Indeed, the plight of Crimean Tatars (both historically and currently) forms an important element of the plot. The mixed feelings of love and resentment between father and son — and their pride in their Tatar heritage and homeland — come through loud and clear.
As the film opens, Kyiv college student Alim (the helmer’s cousin Remzi Bilyalov, an affecting non-pro and also the star of his 2016 short “Without You”) and his father Mustafa (Akhtem Seitablayev), newly arrived from Crimea, are paying a visit to one of the capital’s morgues to claim the shrapnel-pocked body of Alim’s older brother Nazim (Anatoliy Marempolskiy), one of many Ukrainian soldiers killed in the conflict with Russia.