Whaler Boy

(Russia/Poland/2020—directed by Philipp Yuryev)

Leshka (Vladimir Onokhov) is an innocent, typically curious teenager living an uneventful life in an isolated village on the Bering Strait, separating Chukotka and Alaska and dividing Russia from America. Though just 15 years old, he’s a whale hunter—as are most of the men in his village—who had few sources of entertainment until the arrival of the internet, whereupon Leshka becomes infatuated with a webcam model and erotic dancer who lives thousands of miles away on the other side of the Strait, in a far-off city called Detroit.

Far away, perhaps, but in the heart of the lovestruck Leshka, whose dream girl seems almost close enough to see across the waters, is the sincere belief that if he can only devise a way to make it across the Strait to America, then the easy part—walking from Alaska to Detroit—would fulfill his fondest dream. The Whaler Boy is a visionary, charming, unexpected gem. In Russian and English with English subtitles. (90 minutes)

“Entrancing! An intimate and immersive coming of age story.”-Katie Garwood, The Slice

“A brilliant premise for a movie and director Yuryev delivers on that promise big time. Visual poetry that will be hard to forget.” -Zhuo-Ning Su, Awards Daily




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