Family Portrait in Black and White follows passionate supermom, Olga Nenya during three turbulent years that see her brood of 17 foster children grow into adolescence. Olga is a loving single mother who receives little government assistance but she is no Mother Teresa. Raised by the Soviet regime, she believes in communal responsibility over individual freedom and runs the family with Stalin-like authority. Unlike many in the Ukraine, Olga holds no racial prejudices as 16 of her foster children are bi-racial, results of taboo relationships between local Ukrainian girls and African students. Olga's parental limits are tested daily and her iron-fisted ways become a refuge for some and prison for the others. "When the kids grow up, at least they will have a mother to blame for all the failures that will happen in their lives". In many ways, Olga's words sum up the immense value of living with a Mother, ideal or not, biological or adoptive, versus being raised in the best orphanage where a child calls every caregiver "a mom" without ever knowing what a true MOTHER is.
- Julia Ivanova
- Run Time
- 1 hour 25 minutes
Frustrating, but it gets high marks for honesty.Neil Genzlinger, New York Times, 07.12.2012
Riveting viewing.Ernest Hardy, Village Voice, 07.11.2012
Looks at a Ukrainian family of one single mom and a huge brood of children and finds that love grows exponentially.Peter Howell, Toronto Star, 03.01.2012
Though only 85 minutes, the film captures an entire, bewilderingly extended family and way of life inside a sturdy frame.Stephen Cole, Globe and Mail, 03.01.2012