My Dear Mother

Films A-Z

1H 26MIN

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(23 -30 Oct UK only) Dasha is a native nine-year-old Lapp girl. She is an inmate of a Russian orphanage, even when she is not an orphan. Tasha believes that her mother is dead and that her father is in jail for life. To survive she has found a Russian stepmother at the orphanage. One day her biological mother suddenly calls her. In the background of Tasha’s fate lurks the greater global narrative about the 'Stolen Generations'. Children belonging to different indigenous peoples all over the world were 'stolen' and placed in orphanages hoping that they might be assimilated into the majority population.

Included with

British Museum Arctic Culture and Climate — Peter Loovers curator's choice

Director Bio

Over 30 years of experience in film and television communications, with numerous awards for superior work. Proven skills as a producer, manager and project leader. Recognized for work in the production of films and television series. Fluent in English, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish and Sami. Limited French an Russian language skills. Extensive international travel. A long history of producing quality work that has been on-time and on-cost.


Director Statement

When I was a kid I was placed in a state orphanage, even if I was not an orphan. The reason I understood year´s later. The Nordic countries have a long tradition of eugenics. The world’s first Racebiological Institute was founded in 1922 in Uppsala, Sweden. Over one hundred thousand Nordic women were sterilized between 1930-1975 to improve the genetic quality of the superior Nordic race. My parents were classified as Lapps and placed low in the official state race hierarchy.

Personally, I have been successful in forgetting those evil days. Before I meet Tasha at the Russian orphanage I had no nightmares. Tasha is not an orphan; still, she is living in an orphanage. The Russia Lapps are equally considered as the ”filth of the earth”. At the orphanage, Tasha is separated from her native Lapp culture. For every day there she is “cleansed” to become a better Russian. Still, Tasha is so much smarter than what I was. She does not openly confront the Rules. She is a very open and likable person. Tasha has even taught the Russian to see her background in brighter colors. For me, this is a miracle. As an underage inmate, she is totally powerless. Still, she manages to transform the life inside the walls. 

I have no intention to compare my orphanage with Tasha’s. I will instead focus on the love story, where Tasha’s two mothers are trying to do their ultimate best for the girl. Together the three women are fighting to overcome a hopeless situation, using humor, love, and passion as tools.



Credits

Directed by Paul-Anders Simma

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