In development

Last Letters of My Grandma

Last letters of My Grandma

We all understand the importance of family history for future generations. But what if our recent history embrac- es so much pain, traumas and losses, that our parents and grandparents drowned in silence creating toxic family secrecy that spawns uncontrollable fears, anxiety and sleepless nights in us?
With this in mind, I start a journey together with my father from Moldova to Russia, his homeland, in order to uncover the family secrets related to the life of my grandmother, Antonina, who died of suicide in 1989, the same year when the USSR collapsed. Layer by layer, I discover how her life was affected by WWII, famine and the Kyshtym radioactive disaster. I explore her apartment, I meet different family members talking about her life, love and death.
Gradually, the film splits into two divergent realities: one based on the attempt of my family to build an idealized image of my grandmother, our family and the USSR; another based on letters from my grandmother to my father, where she writes about her psychologic problems and complains about her husband and children.
These contradictions make me contemplate our collective trauma and family secrecy that involuntarily are inher- ited and transmitted to the next generations, reaching my own life.
The film explores the process of formation of the individual and collective memory and its impact on the post-traumatic society. My main question is how we can preserve the past without damaging ourselves and fu- ture generations. Thus, with this film I aim to break barriers of family secrecy, process and overcome the heavy heritage, accepting the past and myself.
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