Crocodile Gennadiy

  • Steve Hoover
  • United States
  • 2015
  • 96 min
  • International Premiere
  • Best of Fests
The modern-day superhero Gennadiy Mokhnenko made a name for himself kidnapping homeless child addicts in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol. There, the married pastor – who alongside his own three progeny has 32 adopted children – has been running his Pilgrim Republic shelter since 2000. He confronts dealers and violent criminals, organizes public protests against drug trafficking and appears on talk shows. Mokhnenko says that he is simply filling the void left by a failing state, but he’s not without his critics. A speech given to inmates at a women’s prison about every child’s right to a stable family life serves as a framework for this committed, observational narrative covering 15 years in the life of a pugnacious man. News report montages provide the political background that is at least in part responsible for the children’s suffering: from the collapse of the Soviet Union and Yanukovych’s contested electoral success to the Russian invasion that ultimately reached Mariupol. The sweet, child-helping Soviet cartoon character Crocodile Gena serves as a metaphor for the ever-optimistic priest’s work. Meanwhile, Mokhnenko provides us with ironic commentary on the awful situation in his country.


  • 96 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Russian, English
  • Subtitles in: English
Steve Hoover
Danny Yourd for Animal
Executive producer
Terrence Malick, Nicolas Gonda, Kathy Dziubek for Animal, Michael Killen for Animal, Jim Kreitzburg for Animal
John Pope
Steve Hoover

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