Synopsis by Mark Deming
Olga Nenya is a woman living in the Ukraine who has taken on a task most would never think of trying -- she's a foster mother who looks after 23 children, many of them the mixed-race offspring of African exchange students and local girls. In a community where people of color are still regarded with suspicion and a growing white-supremacist movement has taken root, Nenya's willingness to look after so many children, particularly given their race, is to be admired. However, while Nenya is a woman of great compassion, she's also one who believes in the collectivist philosophies of the old Soviet Union, and as her foster children grow up and embrace their own opinions, she often finds herself angry and at odds with the kids who still think of her as their mother. Filmmaker Julia Ivanova offers an insightful look into the life of Olga Nenya and her many children in the documentary Family Portrait in Black and White, which was an official selection at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.
biracial, foster-family, Ukraine