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From Russia, For Love

What happens when two western couples travel to a remote orphanage in a small Russian town? What does adoption do to the lives of two older girls, and what complications lurk beneath the surface?

"From Russia, For Love" begins as an adoption odyssey - but grows into a story of human compassion, generosity and the power of family love.

Producer/Director: Julia Ivanova, 53 minutes, Color, English

Produced by Interfilm Productions Inc. in association with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

“deeply moving documentary” – Ken Eisner, Georgia Straight

"the images are by turns moving and profound. Highly Recommended" - Andrew Jenks, Educational Media Reviews

View first few minutes of the film here

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When a nine-year-old OLGA is adopted from a small Russian orphanage, she must leave her beloved older brother behind, with little chance of ever seeing him again. LERA, 7, is torn by the loyalty to her birth mother and conflicting feelings toward her new North American family. We are witness to the girls' laughter and tears as well as the despair and the miracles which will change their young lives forever.

Shot over 3 years, From Russia, For Love follows the story of older Russian children who are adopted by North American families. We examine their memories, losses, attachments and wounds as the process unfolds. Rather than intrude, the camera merely records - capturing moments of both tenderness and confusion, tension and compassion. Documentary filmmaker Julia Ivanova, an adoption coordinator herself, is allowed unprecedented access to Russia's orphanage system, the children's lives, and intimate moments with the new families.

The film is full of unexpected twists, as it follows Olga and Lera on their emotional journey. This documentary has been broadcast in over 26 countries with much acclaim and public interest.

AVAILABLE FOR EDUCATIONAL USE: Review by Marianne Eimer, SUNY at Fredonia Lib. - Library Journal:

From Russia, For Love follows Canadian families who excitedly come to Russia to adopt little girls. Both of the girls are older, having lived with relatives prior to arriving at the orphanage, and both have emotional issues. Through skillful interviewing of the parents, children, family members left behind, and orphanage employees, the film shares the myriad joys and fears experienced by these adoptive families. Documenting important issues for prospective adoptive parents such as language barriers and bonding problems, the film provides in-depth coverage of both families’ periods of adjustment over two years. The Russian interviewer is able to converse easily with the children; English-language subtitles document all comments. This quality production focuses on experiences that may be typical for families attempting a Russian adoption and will appeal to a general audience.