Mothers and Daughters  

“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…

“…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…

12 time zones away in Northern Thailand on a doc shoot inspired by my Dad, dramatic news from home!

I have just finished an 18-hour shoot day that started at sunrise with Buddhist monks in the Kingdom of Tigers. We are at the tail end of another emotionally charged international documentary shoot for Global TV’s flagship network program, “16X9″. Running on empty. But 12…

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…

I stand on the precipice of a forbidden journey…a project that has haunted me my entire life.

Iridescent azure sky. A blinding sun. Powder white snow hangs in clumps from stands of birch trees. It’s a brilliant, starched day. Minus 50 degrees. It’s so cold, spit freezes before it hits the ground. Not that I’m testing it. My pals back home are…

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…

“They are the last of the real ‘Great Dames’….”

On set at Global TV’s program “16X9″, we are two prairie girls celebrating the stories of a trio of women you don’t normally get to see on prime time TV. Their faces are etched with wrinkles, each line telling a tale of extraordinary cunning, endurance,…

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…