High Five: a Suburban Adoption Saga
2012 90 and 60 min
Produced by Interfilm Productions, producer Boris Ivanov. Developed by Piksuk Media.
Commissioned by Knowledge Network, executive producer Murray Battle
Cathy and Martin Ward from a cookie-cutter North American suburb travel to Ukraine to adopt five siblings, the youngest six and the oldest sixteen. The children are separated when only the adoption of the two middle sisters goes through. When a year later the kids are re-united, Yuliya, the oldest girl, who had years of assuming the role of protective mother in the orphanage, can not find her place in a new family. She favors Martin, the father, over Cathy, the mother, and grieves the loss of the bond with siblings.
The camera stays with the family for another three years capturing the complicated reality of international adoption mixed with the dramatic intensity of teenage years and the growing pains of a family of two becoming a family of seven.
“Ivanova’s sensitivity to the complexity of her subjects makes her keenly aware of when to step back and let the camera linger, and when to intervene to expose the larger truths that might otherwise remain hidden. The result is an intimate and emotional look at a modern 21st-century family.” – Alex Rogalski – Hot Docs Film Festival
“Time of History Second Prize” Award, SEMINCI Film Festival – 2013 (Spain)