Presented by MIFF
A House Made of Splinters
Sundance’s World Cinema Documentary Directing Award winner offers a timely, immersive glimpse at the lives of Ukrainian children near the frontlines of the pre-invasion war with Russia.
The Lysychansk Centre in Eastern Ukraine houses the kids of unfit parents while they await court proceedings determining their future – young cast-offs of alcoholism, addiction, violence and the social trauma of the nearby Russia conflict that has disturbed the region since 2014. A House Made of Splinters presents a fly-on-the-wall account of the lives of a handful of children at the centre, who play games, make friends and manage contact with their unreliable parents, all while the clock ticks on a nine-month residency that, upon termination, will see them released back to their homes, or into guardianship, or sent to an orphanage.
Returning to the terrain of his Oscar-shortlisted The Distant Barking of Dogs, documentarian Simon Lereng Wilmont crafts another heart-rending portrait of childhood in wartime. His intimate observational style and sensitivity towards his subjects have combined into an engrossing film that captures not just survival through turmoil, but also how hope can spark among the wreckage. In the context of current world events, A House Made of Splinters only gains even more relevance.
Viewer Advice: Includes themes that some may find distressing. Viewer discretion is recommended.
Delicately wrenching … An affecting diary of life continuing in the worst of circumstances, disrupted equally by sorrow and fleeting joy.
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