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Tato mamyn brat

My Father Is My Mother's Brother
Vadym Ilkov
Ukraine 2018
76min
V'19

The most poignant aspect of Vadym Ilkov’s documentary is what he chooses to leave out. Ilkov envelops us in the glow of the loving relationship between artist and singer Tolik and his niece Katya. Like many small children, Katya is playful and lively, but prone to tantrums when deprived of video games. But behind Katya’s edginess lurk fear and pain: Katya’s mother Anya is addicted to drugs. She goes into rehab, while Tolik takes over parenting. The surreptitious twists and turns of the different relationships, the ebb and flow of tenderness, against frustration and confusion, shine forth in Ilkov’s delicate observational account, which privileges the domestic realm. The child’s viewpoint is at once unfiltered and hermetic, always on the cusp of full expression. This sets the tone for the entire film, which at times recoils from deeper discomfort. And yet when portraying the vicissitudes of Anya’s life, treading lightly is a boon. Only towards the end do we realize the full devastation of her mental state. A late scene in Anya’s dark apartment, filled only with white noise of her television and her tormented dreams, is one of the most intimate and haunting. (Ela Bittencourt)

Credits
  • Anatoly Belov
  • Anna Yatsenko
  • Katya Yatsenko
  • Vadym Ilkov
  • Andriy Nedzelskyi
  • Vadym Ilkov
  • Vadym Ilkov
  • Boris Peter
  • Andriy Rohachov
Garmata Film Studio

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