Once My Mother

Niegdyś moja matka, 2013, 57 min.

Once My Mother (2013)

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Krakow International Film Festival
Audience Award

Canberra International Film Festival
Audience Award

Valladolid International Film Festival, Spain
Time of History Award

Adelaide Film Festival
Audience Award

Australian Teachers of Media (ATOM)
Best Documentary, Biography


Director Sophia Turkiewicz
Screenplay Sophia Turkiewicz
Cinematography Rod Freedman, Joanne Parker, Stephen Scheding, Rob George, Tim Walsh, Tony Wilson, Michal Modlinger
Music Cezary Skubiszewski
Producer Rod Freedman


Narrator Jen Vuletic
Zofia Wichlacz
Wenanty Nosul
Karolina Porcari
Artur Urbanski

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?