80 min,

52 min

In production

Alice in Mother's Land

Directing: Zhanna Agalakova


One day teenage Alice asks Zhanna directly: Mom, do you create propaganda?! This question knocks Zhanna down. She works for Russian TV, covering international events from the Russian side of the story, but still, she hesitates to call herself a propagandist.

The family currently lives in New York and Zhanna desperately tries to involve Alice into the Russian community life. She believes Alice is missing something important – roots. But the girl alienates from her mother more and more. In fact, the two don’t have much in common, not even the language they speak between them.

Alice is half Russian and half Italian. She goes to a French school, dreams in Spanish and thinks in English. She doesn’t care about any national identity and doesn’t consider any country as her homeland. Something that Zhanna can’t grasp.

Zhanna feels like she is losing the connection with her only child. She decides to pack the family and go to Russia for the first time in many years. Zhanna doesn’t know what exactly she is looking for there. Soviet Russia ended with her childhood. The Perestroika and Glasnost times that inspired her to become a journalist were over long ago. The turbulent 90s took away her Mom. Zhanna has never told her daughter how it had happened.

There is no home in Russia anymore but Zhanna is determined to show Alice Russia she loves and misses. She hopes that the trip will help her become closer with her daughter, but will it work?

This is Alice’s trip, but Zhanna’s journey. The family crosses the country from East to West. Step by step, Zhanna discovers it with her daughter’s critical and foreign eyes. She realizes that “her Russia” is just a utopian and nostalgic picture of the country, which is far from reality.

Just like in the news that Zhanna is making.
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