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Free Floating (2006)

Svobodnoe plavanie (original title)
"Free Floating" is a melodrama with elements of comedy about a young lad from an ordinary provincial town like many in Russia, with just one kindergarten, one school, one factory. As a ... See full summary »


Boris Khlebnikov
4 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Aleksandr Yatsenko ... Lyonya
Evgeniy Sytyy ... Brigade-leader Roslov
Pyotr Zaychenko ... Elderly man from brigade
Boris Petrov Boris Petrov ... Big man from brigade
Darya Ekamasova ... Piggy
Nina Semyonova Nina Semyonova ... Lyonya's mother
Tagir Rakhimov ... Poor man
Sergey Nasedkin Sergey Nasedkin ... Foreman Volodya
Vladimir Tereshchenko Vladimir Tereshchenko ... Vitya from works
Dmitri Shvetsov Dmitri Shvetsov ... Andrei from works
Sergey Yakubenko Sergey Yakubenko ... Sasha from works
Aleksey Oshurkov ... School principal
Adrian Rostovskiy Adrian Rostovskiy ... Captain
Sergei Pestrikov Sergei Pestrikov ... Triton with chain
Tatyana Rasskazova Tatyana Rasskazova ... Labour exchange clerk


"Free Floating" is a melodrama with elements of comedy about a young lad from an ordinary provincial town like many in Russia, with just one kindergarten, one school, one factory. As a result, one grows up here never facing the alternative as to what to choose, for everything is preordained. Leonid is an ordinary lad who, like his peers, goes to discos, dances with girls and picks fights with the local riff-raff later. Everything is going well for him, as his life is totally predictable. But one day the factory closes down and he becomes disoriented. For the first time ever, he is to make a choice on his own and think seriously about what he would like to do... His life begins to develop as he encounters a chain of different people. Leonid starts looking for a job and finds several without much effort, each apparently promising and offering a world of its own. But for different, seemingly haphazard, reasons Leonid won't stick to any job he seems initially attracted to. He only stays ... Written by Koktebel Film Company

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

job seeking | risk taking | See All (2) »


Comedy | Romance







Release Date:

17 February 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Free Floating See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Koktebel Film Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

A warm, colorful and funny exploration of the Russian soul.
19 February 2007 | by zioshechSee all my reviews

This movie was shot on location in a small Russian backwater town called Myshkin, which is located on the banks of the Volga River, far away from the bustling business world of Moscow. It opens with a very long still shot of a bum sitting in front of decaying Soviet-era factory gates, setting up the extremely slow pace and down-to-earth feel of the rest of the movie. In the hands of a different director, static shots that seem to linger for minutes would have proved excruciating, but in Free Floating, Boris Khlebnikov, makes you feel like you are living each frame of the movie. The true to life sounds combine with the dynamic visuals to create an ultra-realistic sensation. At one point in the movie I felt like I was riding a rusty bicycle down a dirt road with the main character, and at another I felt the old bus lurching as the driver shifted gears. But the real magic of this movie comes from the subtle and not so subtle ironies, and the language of the characters. Evgeniy Sytyy, who plays one of the employer characters whom the main character Lyonya encounters as he searches for work, delivers hilarious inspirational speeches, which apparently he improvised for every take. Unfortunately, the subtitles in the version of the movie that I saw were completely inadequate, and if you don't speak Russian you will miss out on a lot.

In an ENTERKINO Russian interview by Olesya Kurpyaeva, the director aptly described some of the spirit that went into making Free Floating...

"Everything happened kind of naturally. For example, I tell my cinematographer, let's try to shoot in the style of a rural comic book, complete simplicity with absolutely dumb shots: people come in, people leave, a dog runs in, yawns, scratches -- just fixating life. Then came the idea that the film should be like an old hand organ -- turning very slowly, the music playing, the pictures changing..."

Yet, like in a good comic book every picture carried the story forward and contained a tasty morsel that could be savored for a few minutes. Even if you don't speak Russian, and don't particularly care for the plight of jobless youths in post-Soviet provincial Russia, you will enjoy living with the people in this meandering tale.

The only problem is finding a place to see it. I saw it at the Portland International Film Festival, and don't know how much exposure it will be getting outside of that type of event.

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