Last Letters from my Grandma

Olga Lucovnicova
In development
Traumas pass through generations. Olga’s grandmother Antonina committed suicide in 1989. By crossing the collective history and her life story, the director searches a way to change this inherited destiny.

Since ancient times, humanity has understood the importance of family history for next generations. But what if our recent history embraces so much pain, traumas and losses, that our parents and grandparents drowned in silence creating toxic family secrecy, that spawns uncontrollable fears, anxiety and sleepless nights in us?
With this in mind, I start my journey with my father from Moldova to Russia, his homeland. I aim to uncover the family secrets related to the life of my grandmother, Antonina, who committed suicide in 1989 when USSR collapsed. Layer by layer, I discover how her life was affected by the WWII, famine and the Kyshtym radioactive disaster.
Gradually, the film splits in two divergent realities: one based on the attempt of my family to build an idealized image of my grandmother, our family and USSR; another based on letters from my grandmother to my father, where she writes about her psychologic problems and complains about her husband and children.The contradictions make me contemplate our collective trauma and family secrecy that involuntarily are inherited and transmitted to the next generations, reaching my own life.
The film explores the process of formation of the individual and collective memory and its impact on the post-traumatic society. My main question is how we can preserve the past without damaging ourselves and future generations. Thus, with this film I aim to break barriers of family secrecy, process and overcome the heavy heritage, accepting the past and myself.

About the director

Olga Lucovnicova IS a documentary filmmaker and aspiring researcher in the field of audiovisual arts, and a member of the Union of Cinematographers of Moldova (MUC). Currently Olga is doing a PhD in Audiovisual arts at the Doctoral School “Culturology and Art Studies” from the Academy of Music, Theatre and Fine Arts of Moldova.

In 2020 Olga graduated from “DocNomads”: the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree (EMJMD) in Documentary Film Directing. This is an international study program, jointly delivered by a consortium of three prominent European universities across three countries: Portugal, Hungary and Belgium. With my graduation film NANU TUDOR I won the Golden Bear for best short film at Berlinale 2021.

Production Details

An Off World production
in co-production with OWH Studio (Moldova)

with the Support from Flanders Audiovisual Fund