68th edition. October 21-28, 2023

“A Houde Made of Splinters”, a refuge in the midst of wear and tear and poverty

The feature film A House Made of Splinters was screened this Tuesday 26 October at the Broadway Cinemas as part of the Time of History section of the 67th International Film Week of Valladolid. Simon Lereng Wilmont, the film’s director, was present at the screening.

A House Made of Splinters shows us a run-down, impoverished corner of eastern Ukraine, where addiction casts a long shadow, a safe haven for children temporarily separated from their parents. The film follows three children as they await their fate – will they return or move to a new home – while a group of dedicated social workers create small moments of joy and respite from the almost lost childhood.

Lereng Wilmont told the audience that filming “It started before the war – between 2018 and 2019 – and lasted exactly one and a half years. I travelled every two months to Ukraine and spent 7-10 days there”, as well as his reason for starting the project: ”In 2017 I shot a film on the border of eastern Ukraine. I met a grandmother who was the legal guardian of her grandson and we established a very nice bond, but she had a heart condition and we didn’t know if she would make it. In the end, luckily, she did. Then I thought about what would happen to all the children who have no one to take care of them”.

The director also fondly remembered the children who were the protagonists of the film, whom he selected exclusively “because they were the ones who came close and felt comfortable being filmed” and added that he felt “very happy because most of them, luckily, have been able to leave Ukraine”.

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