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by Vadym Ilkov


Tolik, an artist in the Ukrainian underground scene, is raising his niece Katya, a stubborn little girl who has taken to calling him Dad. Her mother, Anya, is both at the heart of the film and almost doomed to the fringes, adrift between solitude and stays in a psychiatric hospital. The film seems to float, like the melody of one of Tolik’s songs, like Anya’s blank gaze, between the daily and domestic scenes of life to sequences of stage performances, whereas the soft, white light created by Vadym Ilkov bathes the trio’s life in beauty that softens the tension. With this first feature-length documentary, he directs a moving family portrait, which is simple and delicate, revealing the ties that bring together and the flaws that separate. Attentive to moments of respite, silence and solitude, but also to gestures of creation—Katya’s games, drawings, pictures, Tolik’s songs—the film takes from a coming-of-age story as much as from an artist's portrait, and captures the fragile beauty of a father-daughter relationship in its universality.

international title: My Father Is My Mother's Brother
original title: Tato - mamyn brat
country: Ukraine
year: 2018
genre: documentary
directed by: Vadym Ilkov
film run: 76'
producer: Valentyn Vasyanovych, Darya Bassel
production: Studio Garmata Film
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