- The coming-of-age drama is the feature debut from 19-year-old Ukrainian skater Andrii Kokura
Asya (Kateryna Hretskykh) is a seventeen-year-old girl whose mother recently died in a car accident. She is sitting at the kitchen table with her father (Andriy Romaniy) and his new girlfriend Vika (Dasha Volga). Asya does not try to be polite to Vika, which angers both adults. After a quarrel at a family dinner, Asya runs out into the street and gets on the subway. There, she meets a stranger (Max Bondarenko) who temporarily becomes her mysterious friend. Very often, Asya plunges into flashbacks in which she talks with her mother — after all, only a year has passed since her death.
Andrii Kokura was 17 years old when he wrote the script for this film, titled Pokut [+see also:
interview: Andrii Kokura
film profile]. At that time, the professional Ukrainian figure skater had already participated in the national competition of the Molodist Film Festival with the short film Run Away. He had no money at all to make a film and no producer was attached to the project — Kokura was armed with his self-confidence alone. This helped to attract professional actors Dasha Volga and Andriy Romaniy, who agreed to take part for free. For the main role, Kokura chose a girl whose face he saw on Instagram: Kateryna Hretskykh.
The film begins and ends in a corner of the kitchen of Asya's apartment, and this is no coincidence: this place is called pokut in Ukrainian. Pokut is the holiest, most spiritual place in the house, in which prayers are said and the dead are laid. In this place, Asya thinks about her mother, mentally talks to her, and finds herself transferred back either to a winter park, a spring highway, or an autumn roof.
Of course, Asya was very close to her mother, and Kokura's film is about whether it is possible to survive the death of such a loved one. This is especially difficult when living close to people (in the film, this is the father) who do not understand you. When Asya leaves home for a week and hitchhikes, she scares her father and his girlfriend. After this, a fatal conflict takes place, which the melancholy narrative was always leading up to.
A secondary role — the driver of the car that Asya and her mother are driving — is played by Andrii Kokura's father Valerii Kokura, who helped his son with filming as much as he could. Unfortunately, a tragic incident occurred during filming: the heart of Valerii Kokura stopped. Therefore, it is not surprising that Andrii dedicated such an intimate, tender film to his father.
Pokut was produced by Andrii and Valerii Kokura.
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