Archives: Behind The Scenes  

“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,…

“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…

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…