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A HOUSE MADE OF SPLINTERS

Simon Lereng Wilmont / Denmark / 2022 / 87 min

Tears turn to soap bubbles and hugs turn to fights in Simon Lereng Wilmont’s award-winning film about an orphanage in eastern Ukraine. Eminently observed, and with unforgettable moments of hope.

In a large ramshackle house near the front line in war-torn eastern Ukraine, a group of Ukrainian women run an orphanage. Here, children whose homes have been shattered by poverty, violence and alcohol can stay safely for up to nine months until a decision is made on whether to return them home, foster them or move them to another orphanage. But when one child checks out of the orphanage, a new one always checks in, missing her parents – like Kolia, who smokes cigarettes on the sly, steals and draws tattoos on his arms, but also looks after her younger siblings and collapses crying into her drunk mother’s arms in Simon Lereng Wilmont’s award-winning film.