Film Archive

Love Is Potatoes

Documentary Film
90 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Frank van den Engel
Aliona van der Horst
Stefano Sasso
Aliona van der Horst, Maasja Ooms
Maasja Ooms, Ollie Huddleston, Aliona van der Horst
Simone Massi
Aliona van der Horst
Tim van Peppen
A cheerful woman exercises on the balcony. Paper is burnt in the snow. A whole room full of worn shoes. The house is bursting with souvenirs, details, whose meaning is elusive – or lost forever. One day the Dutch filmmaker Aliona van der Horst’s mother met a Dutch man, married him and left Russia. Only when van der Horst receives her inheritance – a dilapidated wooden house somewhere in Russia – does she take a closer look at her mother’s, and her mother’s mother’s background and that of the latter’s five daughters.

Intercut with Italian artist Simone Massi’s powerful animations, “Love Is Potatoes” brings a dark chapter of Soviet Russian history to life, faced in various ways by those affected. Dismissal and denial are among their strategies, but also a written approach by letters. This film is informed by great pain. Nonetheless, the director never yields to the temptation to turn it into a showpiece. In a well-composed and measured way she brings together elements that often seem like pieces of a puzzle.

Carolin Weidner

Honorary Mention in the International Competition
Prize of the Interreligious Jury