An Update from Family Portrait in Black and White

Posted on October 15, 2012

On Sunday, Global Voices brought you Family Portrait in Black and White by producer Boris Ivanov, who provided BTB an update from the film.


More than two years have passed since we completed the filming for A Family Portrait in Black and White. Most of the children are now studying in the technical schools not far from where they lived with their foster mother Olga Nenya. Only Roman, the soccer player, has been sent far away – he now is in military school and will become a professional soldier. His soccer aspirations are the matter of the past and his Ugandan father disappeared. Roman’s brother Erik continues to live with Olga. Most likely, he has his own dog now – some time ago Olga started a dog breeding business and the last time we checked the house was filled with 17 adorable fluffy Maltese-looking puppies. Kiril and Olga are still not talking to each other. This summer Kiril spent two months in the United States, taking part in a summer work and travel program. He really enjoyed the town of Wisconsin Dells and the people he met there. He is in the last year of his university studies and continues to stay in touch with some of his foster siblings.

Anna lives in Cecina, Italy, with her adoptive family. She is studying to become a beautician and she misses her brothers and sisters terribly.

Maxim went to Italy this summer and was staying, as always, with Sandro and his father Franco. Maxim is turning into a teenager, he has to deal with anger issues and learning challenges. He is still attending a regular school despite his poor academic achievements. Andrey is still in the boarding school for Special Needs Children. Olga now brings him home less than she did in previous years and he is basically living full time away from his family. All of Olga’s children feel very sorry for Andrey. As to Olga, she continues to be the ruling force of the family. She recently took part in the Ukrainian version of the reality show Wife Swap and experienced living with just two kids for the first time in almost 25 years. Two weeks later, she returned home where now fourteen teenagers challenge her authority every day. So far Olga is winning. Family Portrait in Black and White is available to view in entirety online via PBS Video (for a limited time only).


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