Come Back Free

  • Ksenia Okhapkina
  • Estonia
  • 2016
  • 51 min


Officially the war with Russia might be over, but in many parts of Chechnya the fighting continues and the shadow of violence is never absent. Chechens take the attitude that to survive, you always have to be ready to fight. Russian director Ksenia Okhapkina shows the impact of war on a village in the Chechen mountains, where the graveyard is a constant reminder of the loss suffered by the community.  The gravediggers are always kept busy, as there are many graves and funerals. The numerous mourning women have lost husbands and sons in the war, but they defy despair by dancing out their grief and singing away their sorrow. In a calm, observational style without further explanation, this documentary records everyday life in the village, from Muslim rituals to children at play and a dance at a traditional wedding. The greeting used by the locals reflects their longing for true independence: “Come back free!”

Film stills


  • 51 min
  • color
  • DCP
Screening copy
Vesilind OU
Ksenia Okhapkina
Riho Västrik for Vesilind OU
Mirjam Jegorov, Ksenia Okhapkina
Vitaly Afanasiev, Maksim Drozdov
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