Famly Secrets  

“We wanted to live as normal humans. I never did.”

The Siberian dumplings were still steaming in the plate, swimming in an unself-conscious pool of melted butter and sour cream, the tang of vinegar still sharp on my tongue. Ahhh…the taste of childhood in rural Saskatchewan, circa 1965.  My Russian mother would pick wild dill…

The Only Russian Warbride

“This time you really did it, girlie!” It was the greatest love story in Canadian history: the arrival of 47,783 women, mostly British, at Pier 21, Halifax, newly hitched to their handsome Canadian soldiers and ready to take a chance in a new country after…

“…you guys are worse than the Gestapo, you buggers….!”

The dinner ‘interrogation’ of my mother by three professional journalists, is interrupted by peals of laughter.  “And, by the way, how are you enjoying your soup?” Shored up by two pals , I decided to try, once more to pry some war-time secrets out of…

She was a woman on the run…

The sight of German uniforms weakened her knees. She buckled. Her weight collapsed against me, and then, I saw her ashen face. My mother and I were in the Frankfurt  International Airport,  surrounded by uniformed airport security police.  We were on our way to Russia,…

My Dad, a man of few words, robbed of memory in his final days…

My Dad was a victim of Alzheimer’s. I guess you could say, my mother was too. She did not have any of the medical symptoms, but at the age of 73, she found herself as my father’s principal caregiver in rural Saskatchewan, Canada. At the…

“The Traitor’s Daughter” evokes powerful parallels with “Dr. Zhivago” for leading German historian and film consultant.

‘The Traitor’s Daughter’ is not just an intriguing story, reminiscent of epic narratives about what war does to the fabric of human life and civilization, such as we all know from Boris Pasternak’s masterwork ‘Dr Zhivago’. It is also a haunting exploration into who we…

Sundogs and ghosts in rural Saskatchewan… Was that a poltergeist?

In minus 52F, we ventured back to Netherhill, Saskatchewan last month to resume shooting for “The Traitor’s Daughter”, to capture the haunting landscape that sets the stage for so much of this feature length documentary, stretching from Saskatchewan to the very edge of Siberia. I…

She was no June Cleaver, but she was the mother of all mothers. This week, The Traitor’s Daughter hits the airwaves…

Let’s face it. How many mothers do you know who can throw a perfect pattern of kitchen knives into the wall? Who won and lost a couple thousand bucks (and a fur coat) in a single night of poker? Captured by Hitler. Branded a traitor…

A bucket of tears later, here is the film demo for The Traitor’s Daughter!

Armed with a brand new pink manual typewriter and an illicit pack of smokes, I began writing Mom’s story when I was a ten-year old kid in Netherhill, Saskatchewan. In the midnight hours, I loved the sound of the keys smacking the paper and the…

The Missing Thousand Days: THE CLUES

On March 27, 1940, in defiance of her mother’s wishes, Rosa Butorina (my mother’s real name) married a swarthy, Rudolph Valentino-esque man 20 years her senior. This is the last known photograph of her before she was captured by the Nazis in Poltava. The Nazi…