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Plot Summary

  • Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, life in Russia has become a struggle for survival. The looming state bankruptcy, the increase in crime and the lack of education and career opportunities have pushed many mothers to send their daughters to the Golden West hoping they can build a better life there. The director, Katja Fedulova, came to Germany herself in 1993 and started her studies in Kiel where she became friends with five fellow Russians sharing a similar fate: Ilona, Olga, Alesja, Tatiana and Zhenja. They get by working illegal jobs, they are party-crazy and they enjoy hunting for eligible bachelors, while dreaming of true love. 13 years later, the friends reunite in Kiel; an opportunity for Katja Fedulova to address and portray her friends', as well as her own, history and experiences cinematically. What has become of their dreams? Their destinies reflect the struggles of an immigrant's life, the shattered hopes and pragmatic compromises, the uprooting and - in each individual story - the struggle for self-determination. However, the complicated relationship between mother and daughter stands at the center of the film. Nowhere is the political change more glaringly obvious than in the break between the generations, nowhere are the remains of the totalitarian system more blatant: the authoritarian education measures, the competitive achievement-oriented way of thinking, the misunderstandings and simply the absence of care and empathy when it is needed the most - but at the same time the admitting of mistakes and the attempts to make it better.

    - Written by Ulrike Zinke

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