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73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 6 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: For more than a decade, Olga has been picking up the black babies left in Ukrainian orphanages and raising them together so that they may support and protect one another. Neo-Nazis in Ukraine pose a real danger for a dark-skinned individual in the street. These white supremacist youth joke about their evening raids and how police seem to let them do it. Prosecutors are not particularly determined to give strict sentences to racially motivated crimes, and young thugs can get away with probation for beating someone nearly to death.
    Olga sends her foster children to stay with host families in France and Italy in the summers and over Christmas, where they are cared for by charitable families who have committed to helping disadvantaged Ukrainian youth since the Chernobyl disaster. Olga's kids now speak different languages, and the older girls chat in fluent Italian with each other even while cooking a vat of borscht. But Olga doesn't believe in international adoption and has refused to sign adoption
    papers from host families that wanted to adopt her kids.
    "At least when the kids grow up, they'll have a mother to blame for all the failures that will happen in their lives," she says. (First Pond Entertainment)
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Jul 13, 2012
    83
    It's a fascinating story, fascinatingly told.
  2. Reviewed by: Ernest Hardy
    Jul 11, 2012
    80
    The film's emotional and psychological textures suffer for those losses, but Family is still riveting viewing.
  3. Reviewed by: Neil Genzlinger
    Jul 12, 2012
    80
    Leaves a lot of questions unanswered, which is frustrating, but it gets high marks for honesty.
  4. Reviewed by: Chuck Bowen
    Jul 11, 2012
    75
    Julia Ivanova, a Canadian filmmaker, doesn't judge Olga; she refuses to see her through the eyes of a presumably better-off first-world citizen.
  5. 75
    Though only 85 minutes, the film captures an entire, bewilderingly extended family and way of life inside a sturdy frame.
  6. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Jul 11, 2012
    58
    There's no organizing principle in Ivanova's documentary, which unfolds in a ragged, seat-of-the-pants style that mirrors its subject's day-to-day life all too closely. Nenya's flock proves too big for the film to wrangle.

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