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USA: Land of the Mustaches

I have made a deeply personal film about my family becoming war refugees (WWII) and the six years afterwards in the Allies’ “Displaced Persons” camps, experiencing starvation, sickness, living in rubble, witnessing such things as a woman lay down on the tracks and her body parts flying in the air, an image that haunted me for years into my adulthood. This documentary is told from my point of view as a child, of what I saw and witnessed while growing up. It is also the story of my grandmother who was determined to survive Hitler and then afterward struggle to suvive the refugee camps among 12 million starving people searching for food and living in bombed out buildings. This documentary also parallels my father’s journey, a man who served in the Red Army and who returns from fighting the Japanese in August of 1945 only to be snatched off the street at gunpoint, stuffed into a cattle car with many other men, and sent to Stalin’s forced labor camps, called the Gulag.
Many people dont know about this time in history. The Ukraine crisis has awakened some. Understanding unending wars’ unique destruction to children and families is what I hope to communicate. Most stories about WWII are told about the historical battles but not about the aftermath of women and children.

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Rutanya Alda, Other

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