High Five: An Adoption Saga
PROD Boris Ivanov
SCR/CAM/ED Julia Ivanova
MUS Boris Sichon
PROD CO Interfilm Productions / Piksuk Media Inc.
After their plans to adopt a baby were thwarted, Cathy and Martin Ward travelled to the remote village of Gorodnya in rural Ukraine to begin the process of adopting five biological brothers and sisters. The children—the youngest only six and the oldest nearly 17—are separated when only the adoption of the two youngest sisters, Alyona and Snezhana, goes through. Determined to make the remaining siblings part of their family, the Wards bring Sasha, Yulia, and Sergey to Canada for the summer. After a period of tension, tenderness, conflict and discovery, the couple begins to understand the complex memories, losses and wounds that deeply affect the children they have chosen to make their family, especially eldest daughter Yulia who had for years assumed the role of protective mother at the orphanage. Two years later, the wheels are in motion to finalize the adoption of Sasha, Yulia, and Sergey in Ukraine. When they finally succeed in bringing all five children permanently to Canada, they embark on an unprecedented emotional journey. With many ups, downs, failures and triumphs in their sudden role as the parents to five orphaned children from a vastly different culture, Cathy and Martin remain devoted to loving and caring for the children as best they can.
Director Julia Ivanova adeptly confronts the complicated aftermath of an international adoption in this moving film.