Archive of films Free Floating / Svobodnoje plavanije

2006, 101 min

Section: East of the West - Competition
Year: 2007

In a small town on the Volga, everything’s dead. They closed the factory and the job centre has practically nothing to offer. Lyonya tries selling shoes at the market, since a career as a plasterer or cleaner doesn’t appeal to him. He spends a few days working with road menders, but he hasn’t got the stomach for shifty moonlighting jobs. But then the river gives him a chance for self-fulfilment which even seems bearable.


20-year-old Lyonya lives in a small town on the Volga, where nothing ever happens. The only factory has closed down and the job centre has nothing to offer. While the redundant workers savour their utopian dreams and their drink, Lyonya tries selling shoes as a stallholder, since life as a bricklayer or cleaner doesn’t appeal to him. He spends a few days working with road menders, but he hasn’t got the temperament for shifty moonlighting jobs. The girls in the town are insolent – the girls down the disco and his former classmates as well. This is probably the reason the local lads opt for military service. But Lyonya’s integrity and decency are rewarded. By coincidence, he is given a chance for self-fulfilment; it might be challenging and unprofitable, but he gets an opportunity to act like a real man with independence… The director took his theme from a real environment where life in the provinces is nothing but wretched. Its hopelessness seeps into people’s psyches and paralyses any notion of social integration. The depiction of the psychopathology of everyday life in ordinary modes of existence is evoked by the infamous Russian timelessness.

About the director

Boris Khlebnikov (b. 1972) studied film science at VGIK (1997). While he was still studying he made the documentary Passing By (Mimokhod, 1994) with Alexey Popogrebsky. He worked as a programmer for the “TriTe” studio. After the short Tricky Frog (Khitraya lyagushka, 2001), he filmed the series Mikhail Bulgakov. Black Snow (Mikhail Bulgakov. Chorny snyeg) and the successful film made again with Popogrebsky, Roads to Koktebel (2003), awarded the Silver St George at the Moscow IFF, the Philip Morris Jury Prize at the Karlovy Vary IFF in 2003 (East of the West), among others. Free Floating, screened in the Horizons section at the Venice IFF, brought him the Best Director Award at the Kinotavr IFF in Sochi, a prize from the Russian Film Critics Guild, the Tarkovsky Prize at the Vyborg FF, and 1st prize at the Warsaw IFF.


Koktebel Film Company
Mikhalkovskaya Str. 4, 125 008, Moscow
Tel: +7 495 984 2098
Fax: +7 495 708 8051

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: East of the West - Competition
Director: Boris Khlebnikov
Screenplay: Alexander Rodionov, Boris Chlebnikov / Boris Khlebnikov
Dir. of Photography: Shandor Berkeshi
Music: Toto Cutugno
Editor: Ivan Lebeděv / Ivan Lebedev
Producer: Roman Borisevič / Roman Borisevich
Production: Koktebel Film Company
Cast: Alexandr Jatsenko / Alexander Yatsenko, Jevgenij Sytyj / Evgeniy Sitiy, Pjotr Zajčenko / Petr Zaychenko, Daria Ekamasova
Contact: Koktebel Film Company


Boris Khlebnikov

Film Director

Roman Borisevich

Producer, Producer

Natalia Borisevich

Producer, Producer


© 2020 FILM SERVIS FESTIVAL KARLOVY VARY, a.s. +420 221 411 011 All contacts

CinemasCinemas PartnersPartners
ProgramProgram About the projectAbout the project
HistoryHistory GalleryGallery
Festival DailyFestival Daily
HistoryHistory ContactsContacts
Archive of filmsArchive of films KVIFF TalksKVIFF Talks
Industry Days July 5 - July 8Industry Days July 5 - July 8 ContactsContacts
VideogalleryVideogallery GalleryGallery
HistoryHistory Festival GuideFestival Guide