Family Portrait
From Russia For Love

SYNOPSIS

 

 

Olga Nenya has 27 children. Four of them, now adults, are her biological children; the other 23 are adopted or foster children. Of those 23, 16 are biracial.

She calls them "my chocolates," and is raising them to be patriotic Ukrainians. Some residents of Sumy, Ukraine, consider Olga a saint, but many believe she is simply crazy. An inheritance from the Soviet era, a stigma persists here against interracial relationships, and against children born as the result of romantic encounters between Ukrainian girls and exchange students from Africa. For more than a decade, Olga has been picking up the black babies left in Ukrainian orphanages and raising them together so that they may support and protect one another.

The filmmakers interview Neo-Nazis in Ukraine reveals the real dangers for a dark-skinned individual in the street. These white supremacist youth joke about their evening raids and how police seem to let them do it. Prosecutors are not particularly determined to give strict sentences to racially motivated crimes, and young thugs can get away with probation for beating someone nearly to death.

Olga sends her foster children to stay with host families in France and Italy in the summers and over Christmas, where they are cared for by charitable families who have committed to helping disadvantaged Ukrainian youth since the Chernobyl disaster. Olga's kids now speak different languages, and the older girls chat in fluent Italian with each other even while cooking a vat of borscht. But Olga doesn't believe in international adoption and has refused to sign adoption papers from host families that wanted to adopt her kids.

" At least when the kids grow up, they'll have a mother to blame for all the failures that will happen in their lives," she says.

85min DVD

Institutional Use - College/University
Public Performance Rights

$199
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ALSO AVAILABLE
Institutional Use
NO public presentation

$49.95 plus $10 shipping

 

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REVIEWS

"Family Portrait in Black and White not only stands out as a fascinating glimpse into the post-Soviet Ukraine, it highlights many of the universal struggles that come not only with adoption but with being a child of mixed-race. It is therefore recommended for courses relating to international studies, ethnic studies, children, and human rights. It should be noted that the educational DVD with PPR is packaged with both a full-length 85 minute version and a 52 minute version, perfect for the classroom." - Reviewed by Gisele Tanasse, University of California Berkeley - Educational Media Reviews Online

"An engaging family portrait, this is recommended" - Video Librarian

CRITIC’S PICK “Family Portrait is riveting” - LA Weekly

“Gets high marks for Honesty.” – NY Times

“It’s a Fascinating story, Fascinatingly told.” -Christian Science Monitor

“A Powerful and Complex doc.” – NY Magazine

“The film is Remarkable, as fearless and complex as the family it represents.” – PopMatters

“Engaging documentary…Well-crafted, nicely scored.” – Variety

“An emotionally absorbing subject filled with layers of complexity.” - Now Toronto

“Masterfully packed with more societal and psychological issues
than any other film showing at HotDocs this year. From the chilling opening to the incredibly bittersweet conclusion, Family Portrait in Black and White is a film that will likely and justly be studied for years to come and is easily one of the biggest standouts of this year’s festival. ” – CritisizeThis

“Ivanova's lush cinematography and candid directing skills provide viewers with an honest, moving viewpoint of what it's like to live in rural Ukraine. Family Portrait in Black and White is a touching and compelling documentary that will make viewers question their parenting moral barometer.” – Exclaim

Filmed over the course of three years, filmmaker Julia Ivanova deftly creates and subverts expectations for the viewer while drawing out complicated emotional processes from Olga’s children as they sit at the crossroad between a (truncated) childhood and limited adulthood. – Steady Diet of Film

Julia Ivanova shows a masterful ability in examining psychological landscape in the magnificent 'Family Portrait in Black and White' on the life of black Ukrainian orphans living with a very special foster mother. – Elnorte de Castilla


RELATED FILMS

 

 

AWARDS &

SCREENINGS
32nd GENIE AWARDS (Canada) (aka Canadian Oscars)
“NOMINEE: Best Feature Documentary”

18th HOT DOCS FILM FESTIVAL (Canada)
“Grand Prize: Best Canadian Film Award”

56TH VALLADOLID INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (Spain)
Cultural Diversity Award” and “Time of History Third Prize”

6TH MIRADASDOC –DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL (Spain)
“Audience Award”

6TH ADDIS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (Ethiopia)
"Jury Award - Best Documentary"

SCREENINGS:

Sundance Film Festival (Usa)
International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam
Los Angeles Film Festival (Usa)
Mumbai Film Festival (India)
Haifa International Film Festival (Israel)
Hamptons International Film Festival (Usa)
Cleveland International Film Festival (Usa)
Glasgow International Film Festival (Uk)
Thessaloniki Film Festival (Greece)
Message To Man Documentary Festival (Russia)
Bergen International Film Festival (Norway)
Vancouver International Film Festival (Canada)
New Zealand International Film Festival
Seattle International Film Festival (Usa)
One World Film Festival (Romania, Czech)
Human Watch Film Festival (Uk)
Watchdocs (Poland)

plus dozens more film festivals across the globe


CONTACT FOR

MULTIPLE ITEMS

DISCOUNT or BOOK A

SCREENING

Interfilm Productions Inc

Mailing Address:

304 - 1515 West Hastings Street

Vancouver, BC V6G 3G6 Canada

(604) 638-8920 phone

(604) 899-4353 fax

contact us via email

WEBSITE

http://www.familyportraitthefilm.com

 

 

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