‘Homeward’ depicts Ukraine’s generational and cultural conflicts


The Envelope Live Screening Series welcomed the Ukrainian Oscar contender “Homeward” to the Montalbán in Hollywood.

The film conveys an emotional journey for a father and son following the death of the man’s other son in the Ukrainian-Russian border conflict. The film depicts generational and cultural conflicts, especially involving the Tatars, a people who suffered grievously under previous Russian rule. The Times’ Mark Olsen moderated the conversation with director Nariman Aliev and producer Vladimir Yatsenko.

Yatsenko said of the film’s frank depiction of corruption in his country, “After the Revolution of Dignity, the new cops … they made an example from the American cops. So they wore the same uniform, they behave — sometimes it’s like a comedy in a way, but they were super-proud of themselves, they don’t take bribes — at least for several years — then the people, nature became stronger.

“But anyway, sometimes in Ukraine you can find the solution, give the bribes … you can get the result. So it’s good and bad, it’s complicated, to be honest.”


“Homeward” director Nariman Aliev and producer Vladimir Yatsenko at an Envelope Live Screening Series Q&A.

Olsen asked the director if the generational clash between the film’s father and son was important to him.

“Of course, because it’s all I know,” said Aliev. “I was growing up in Crimea, growing up in a family who tried to explain to me who I am. A lot of conflicts I tried to show, I saw it. Not all the time in my family, but in my relatives’ families, my friends’ families. For them it’s very important.

“We have a lot of problems inside our nation, but the first step to go forward [is] to understand our culture, to discuss this.”

“Homeward” director Nariman Aliev at an Envelope Live Screening Series Q&A.