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Zosya Rodkevich • Director of White Mama

“We wanted to tell this story from the inside”


- We chatted to Zosya Rodkevich, one of the directors of the Krakow-screened White Mama, about the making of the film and where the protagonists are now

Zosya Rodkevich • Director of White Mama
(© Krakow Film Festival/Tomasz Korczyński)

White Mama [+see also:
film review
interview: Zosya Rodkevich
film profile
by Russian filmmakers Zosya Rodkevich and Evgenia Ostanina had its world premiere in the Krakow Film Festival's documentary competition. Cineuropa talked to Rodkevich about the making of the film.

Cineuropa: How did you come across this story?
Zosya Rodkevich: In 2013, Evgenia Ostanina and I started the web documentary Realnost Project, in which people filmed their lives with small Handycam cameras, and Alina was one of those who came along to the casting. 

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How did you shoot the film? The camera is always present in the household and following the protagonists.
I was with them for six days a week during seven months. And the rest of the time when I was not with them, they filmed themselves. My aim was to emulate the "selfie camera" because we wanted to tell this story from the inside, as if there were not an intruder with a camera there, as if they had shot it all by themselves. This was not very easy sometimes. 

What was the biggest challenge in the production?
It was complex to build my own relationships with each member of the family, but Alina helped me with this a lot. During the production, the challenge was to watch all of the material because we had around 400 hours of footage. It was all very expressive and interesting, so it was hard to pick the best pieces and put them together.

How is Daniil doing now?
Alina was successful in integrating Danya into her family. He is now calmer, and he goes to school and has friends.

What are you working on next?
I am planning a film about Gleb Astafev, a 17-year-old "artist-actionist" from Siberia. My idea is to film him over a period of several years, much like Helena Treštikova does with the protagonists in her documentaries.

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