DIR. JULIE IVANOVA | 2011 | CANADA | 85 MIN.
(Russian w/English subtitles)
Grand Prize Winner as Best Canadian Film at last year’s Hot Docs Festival, Family Portrait in Black and White is the remarkable story of supermom and single mother Olga Nenya who is raising 23 foster children all by herself in Sumy, the Ukraine. Sixteen of the kids are the results of bi-racial amorous relationships between local Ukrainian girls and African students.
The filmmakers spent two weeks with the family in 2008 and returned in 2010 to film as the kids turned into teenagers. As a single mother who receives very limited support from the government, Olga fights tooth and nail to keep her family together and to give them strength and support but with sometimes overbearing control. Olga’s limits are tested daily and her unwavering resolve becomes a refuge for some of her children and prison for others.
“Masterfully packed with more societal and psychological issues than any other film showing at Hot Docs…a film that will likely be studied for years to come.” - Andrew Parker