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

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  1. DOK Leipzig – International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film, Germany (30 October – 5 November, 2017)
    International Competition Won: Interreligious Jury Award & Honorary Mention in the International Competition
  2. Artdocfest – Russian Open Documentary Film Festival, Russia (6 – 17 December, 2018)
    Official Competition Won: Grand Prix
  3. Ambulante Film Festival, Mexico (8 March – 17 May, 2018)
  4. It’s All True International Documentary Film Festival, Brazil (12 – 22 April, 2018)
    International Competition
  5. Crossing Europe, Austria (25 – 30 April, 2018)
    European Panorama Doc
  6. fest International Documentary Film Festival München, Germany (2 – 13 May, 2018)
  7. Beldocs International Documentary Film Festival, Serbia (7 – 14 May, 2018)
    International Competition
  8. EDOC – International Documentary Film Festival, Ecuador (9 – 20 May, 2018)
    Official Selection
  9. Millennium Docs Against Gravity Film Festival, Poland (11 – 20 May, 2018)
    Official Selection
  10. Biografilm Festival – International Celebration of Lives, Italy (8 – 18 June, 2018)
    Official Selection Won: Life Tales Award
  11. DOCUMENTARIST Istanbul Documentary Days, Turkey (9 – 14 June, 2018)
    Official Selection
  12. Guth Gafa International Documentary Film Festival, Ireland (20 – 22 July, 2018)
    Official Selection
  13. Nederlands Film Festival, Netherlands (27 September – 5 October, 2018)
    Gouden Kalf Competition & Forum van Regisseurs Won: Best Dutch Feature Documentary
  14. Meetings in Siberia – International Festival of Documentary Films, Russia (5 – 12 September, 2018)
    Official Selection
  15. Astra Film Festival, Romania (15 – 21 October, 2018)
    Central&Eastern Europe Competition
  16. La Orquídea Film Festival, Ecuador (19 – 26 October, 2018)
    Out of comeptition: Gender Section
  17. Panorama Internacional Coisa de Cinema, Brazil (14 – 21 November, 2018)
    International Competition Won: Best Feature 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