Previously at the ICA - Films
24 Mar 2012
In a Ukrainian village, the formidable Olga Nenya single-handedly raises 23 foster children. Sixteen are the biracial offspring of visiting African students and Ukrainian women, who often see no choice but to abandon their babies. And that’s where Olga comes in. Family Portrait in Black and White is an inspired and challenging tale about the meaning of family that charts the rhythms of Olga’s hectic household, where the children find safety in a society that constantly reminds them they are outsiders. As diverse dramas unfold—a teenager struggling to transcend his plight through education, a boy struggling to reunite with his Ugandan father, and a child longing to live with his Italian foster family—Olga reveals herself to be loving and protective but also narrow-minded and controlling. A product of communist ideology, she favours collective duty over individual freedom. It is this paradox in Olga’s personality that gives the children the sense of belonging they ache for, as well as cause for rebellion and distrust.
(Official Selection Sundance Film Festival 2011)
Human Rights Watch has documented serious issues in Ukraine's treatment of migrant and minority children. While some conditions in migration detention facilities have improved, Ukraine subjects many migrants, including unaccompanied children, to inhuman and degrading treatment and has been unable or unwilling to provide effective protection for refugees and asylum seekers. In 2011, Human Rights Watch also documented difficulties accessing pain medication and other health care for those seriously ill in rural areas.
The screening will be followed by a session with the director Julia Ivanova and Andrea Holley.
Dir: Julia Ivanova, India/US, 2011, English and Hindi with English subtitles, 87mins, 12 cert