Biografilm Festival

Sophia Turkiewicz – Once My Mother #Biografilm2015

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14 min. and 18 sec.

When her mother’s mental health spirals into dementia, Sophia understands it is time to tackle some unresolved issues. What she discovers is even bigger than she thought possible.

Play Podcast
14 min. and 18 sec.

Sophia Turkiewicz – director – Once My Mother

Director Sophia Turkiewicz explains how her mother’s story is deeply connected to Poland’s untold history during World War II.

ONCE MY MOTHER: When Australian filmmaker Sophia Turkiewicz was seven years old, her Polish mother, Helen, abandoned her in an Adelaide orphanage. Sophia never forgot this maternal act of betrayal. Now in middle age, as Sophia examines her troubled relationship with Helen, she discovers the story behind Helen’s miraculous wartime escape from a Siberian gulag, her subsequent survival against the odds and the truth about an historic betrayal involving Stalin and the Allies.

With Helen sliding into dementia, Sophia must confront her own demons. Did she ever truly know this woman who became her mother? Does she have it in her heart to forgive her? And is it too late?

  • Reporter
    Antonio Back
  • Guest
    Sophia Turkiewicz
  • Interviewee role
  • Film title
    Once My Mother
  • Festival section
    Best of Fest
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