Synopsis by Mark Deming
A pair of youngsters is thrown into the tumult of the adult world in this drama from director Kira Muratova. Alena (Lena Kostyuk) and Nikita (Roma Burlaka) are two girls, ages ten and eight respectively, who are suddenly left to fend for themselves after the death of their mother. Their father left them years before, and having heard that he is working in Kiev, they board a train in hopes of finding him. Once they arrive in the city, however, it soon becomes obvious that Alena and Nikita have little hope of a reunion with their dad, and they have to face the grim realities of surviving on their own. This proves to be especially difficult in Kiev, where compassion from strangers is in short supply. The girls are preyed upon by other street children, ignored by adults in a position to help, and set upon by shopkeepers when they must shoplift food to survive. Melodiya Dlya Sharmanki (aka Melody For A Street Organ) was an official selection at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival.