Liefde Is Aardappelen / Love Is Potatoes

A film by: Aliona van der Horst

One day, Dutch film maker van der Horst was given her inheritance: 6 square meters, one sixth of a small, wooden house in the Russian countryside where her mother grew up. It was as if life had handed her a card she felt forced to play.
She began a journey into the past, back into the childhood of her Russian mother and her five sisters, all of whom struggled with fear, famine and war in Stalin’s Russia; experiences that left them scarred to their very soul.
Aliona’s quest into the lives and fate of her family becomes a loving, poignant, and poetic film with Chekhovian characters. Accompanied by the magical animation of acclaimed Italian artist Simone Massi, unimaginable events in the Soviet past are given an immediate charge. Along with the stories of ordinary people living in the small farmhouse, the film maker tells the tale of Soviet terror, immense bravery and a fear that has never left those four walls.

Country: the Netherlands
Length: 90’
Completion: 10/2017
Genre: documentary
Screening format: DCP, H264, ProRes
Spoken language: Russian
Subtitles: English, Dutch


  • DOK Leipzig – International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film, Germany (30 October – 5 November, 2017)
    International Competition Long Documentary & Animated Film

Director: Aliona van der Horst
Screenplay: Aliona van der Horst
Producer: Zeppers Film: Frank van den Engel
Cinematographer: Aliona van der Horst, Maasja Ooms
Sound design: Marc Lizier
Sound recording: Tim van Peppen
Editor: Aliona van der Horst, Maasja Ooms, Oliver Huddleston
Executive producers: Julia van Schieveen
Commissioning editor: VPRO – David Kleijwegt, Barbara Truyen