ByTowne ByTowne Cinema
325 Rideau St. Ottawa K1N 5Y4
Info Line: (613) 789-FILM
Winner - Best Canadian Documentary HotDocs Film Festival 2011
Opening with a montage of belligerent skinheads, Julia Ivanova's doc portrays radical compassion under fire. Olga Nenya is the ultimate Mom, with 27 children – some biological, but most fostered – under her care in a rundown home in Sumy, Ukraine. Most of the children are mixed-race blacks, many rejected by their mothers due to social stigma. The fascist footage establishes a climate of oppression and desperate need that this amazing woman fights all day, every day.
Olga is no superhero, though, just a flawed but dedicated human who pushes herself, the state, and sometimes her children to their limits. This is not sentimental hagiography: we see this woman being imperious and stifling, and her children show all-too-human flaws amidst their hopes and needs.
It's a vivacious lot: Kiril is an ambitious, scholarly music lover, standing apart from the other children in recognizable and occasionally disturbing ways; Sashka is a swaggeringly confident kid with energy to spare and a bit of a chip on his shoulder; Roman is a soccer prodigy whose young personality we get to see emerge throughout the film. Economic desperation, intimate psychology and plain, imperfect human beauty are on full display in this film. Ivanova has an eye for fly-on-the-wall observation and a trust in her audience: she knows we're scrupulous enough to sort the good from the bad.
– Vancouver International Film Festival
This web site is very useful, but the hard copy of the ByTowne guide still has its merits. People rely on it and love it. Plus, its calendar pages can be pulled out and posted on your fridge door, something that we still can't achieve with the web site. Get your copy today at many local stores, coffee shops and info centres around town!
To advertise in the Guide: Download our complete advertising Rate Card
– it has deadlines, sizes, prices and all the technical information your need!