Putin's Mama
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Putin's Mama
IDFA 2003

Putin's Mama

Poetin's mama
Ineke Smits
52 min
Festival history
Seventy-seven-year-old Vera Putina, who lives in former Soviet Georgia, has been convinced for years that current Russian President Vladimir Putin is her long lost son. Director Ineke Smits does not track down Vera’s baptism certificate nor open any archives to establish the truth, but stays with Vera, with her moving story and her cheerful daughters in the village of Metechi. In this farming town at the foot of snow-capped mountain ridges, all streets are named Stalin Street. At a picnic in the churchyard, the villagers drink a toast to Stalin - ‘that noble man’. They love parties and campfires. They are also convinced that Vova (short for Vladimir), who was sent away a long time ago when he was only ten, is the current President. They bring back memories of the child with the long face, who always wanted to win wrestling matches. Nobody has ever heard from him since, not even his mother. ‘People in the KGB were not allowed to have parents.’ The sprightly, voluble Vera makes casual remarks that might lead one to believe that Putin is indeed her son. Just as casually, we are told how, and why, Vera lost her Vova.
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