Once My Mother
Niegdyś moja matka, 2013, 57 min.
Krakow International Film Festival
Canberra International Film Festival
Valladolid International Film Festival, Spain
Time of History Award
Adelaide Film Festival
Australian Teachers of Media (ATOM)
Best Documentary, Biography
When Australian filmmaker Sophia Turkiewicz was seven years old, her Polish mother, Helen, abandoned her in an Adelaide orphanage. Sophia never forgot this maternal act of betrayal. Now in middle age, as Sophia examines her troubled relationship with Helen, she discovers the story behind Helen’s miraculous wartime escape from a Siberian gulag, her subsequent survival against the odds and the truth about an historic betrayal involving Stalin and the Allies. With Helen sliding into dementia, Sophia must confront her own demons. Did she ever truly know this woman who became her mother? Does she have it in her heart to forgive her? And is it too late?