POW’s  

“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 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…

“You don’t believe in Death!”

“You don’t believe in Death! ” my mother said in a moment of piquancy during our customary game of thrust and parry whenever it came to trying to unearth her war-time secrets. The sheer force of her personality. The power of that voice. And her…

I used to dream I could fly.

I used to dream I could fly. A spirited run, a leap into the air, and the wind-milling of arms would send me skimming over the telephone poles that lined the gravel streets and wooden sidewalks of Netherhill, Saskatchewan.  Then, it was simply a matter…

It was the time of whispers.

It was the time of whispers. The 1930’s. The rest of the world was focused on a stock market crash, the Depression, and a young Bing Crosby who was taking the US musical scene by storm with his dreamy, “Pennies from Heaven”. But in the…

“Be careful where you dig, you may find worms.”

My Russian mother’s words come back to me from the grave as I board Aeroflot Flight Number 115 from Toronto to Moscow. We are about to begin shooting the first scenes of a feature length documentary by interviewing my 89 year old aunt who lives…