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The Secret (2001)

Filmed in the Ukranian Village in the West Town area of Chicago, brought to you by MDR Films.


Melinda Roenisch
3 wins. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Richard Bull ... Grandpa
Carey Cannon ... Katya
Maury Cooper ... Crony
Diane Fabian Diane Fabian ... Gossip 1
Oksana Fedunyszyn ... Sophia
Luba Goy ... Gossip 2
Brian Hamman ... Mikola
Mila Kanev Mila Kanev ... Gossip 3
Chris Kipiniak ... Ivan
Marcella Mencotti Marcella Mencotti ... Mama (Iryna Dobrovich)
Fern Persons Fern Persons ... Great Aunt Daria
Heather Prete Heather Prete ... Nadya
Lusia Strus ... Olenka
Meredith Zinner ... Lesia


Each member of the Dobrovich family, American of Ukrainian origin, is the guardian of a secret. To live in a state of secrecy 24 hours a day is driving them out of their minds. The matriarch, a widow, conceals the obscure story of a death from her children. She believes that desertion by her own family is predestined. The oldest daughter, Katya, is weary of playing the part of a good Ukrainian little girl, has quit her job in the Ukrainian company and ended her romance with her Ukrainian boyfriend - She does not know, however, what to do with her freedom and is under the impression she has set herself a trap. Lesia, the middle daughter, is about to give birth, but since she does not have a distinct image of what it is to be a mother, she secretly harbors the fear she will not know how to act. Young Mykola, who grew up without a father, tries to guess what life will be like when she is mature. Finally, Grandfather Dobrovich is beset with guilt over the past when an opportunity arose ... Written by Ulf Kjell Gür

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User Reviews

Student Film
12 April 2003 | by murcielago17See all my reviews

A quirky family in the Ukrainian Village neighborhood in Chicago awaits and survives the arrival of the Great Aunt from the old country. The grandfather, mother, two sisters, and brother all live under the same roof, while a chorus of women keep an eye on what's going on. Magical realism plays a role as the flowers move and members of the family talk to them. It's an odd film which almost feels more like a play at times, both in the staging and in the acting, which gave it a bit of the feel of a student film. A very good student film, don't get me wrong. The story is engaging, as are most of the actors. The camera work isn't all that sophisticated, and it's the combination of this plus the music that give it away as an independent film. It lacks the high gloss quality of a big studio production. Again, that's not a criticism, just an observation. I liked the music. It was thematic. Every time we were in the church we heard church music. There was a lot of cello and clarinet. Sometimes the cello was a bit too obvious. Sometimes the music was WAY too obvious in foreshadowing what would happen next. But the film engaged me for the 1h40 or so that it runs, and it made me think a bit afterwards, and I appreciate that.

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Release Date:

12 June 2001 (USA) See more »

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Sound Mix:

Dolby SR


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