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The Children of Leningradsky

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In post-Soviet Russia between 1 and 4 million children are homeless. At the time of filming, authorities estimated that some 30,000 of them were living on the streets of Moscow. Filmmakers Hanna Polak and Andrzej Celinski bring us the gritty and heartbreaking story. Escaping homes fraught with violence and neglect, the children sleep in stairways, garbage containers and underground tunnels. They make homes on hot water pipes to protect themselves from the harsh winter. They panhandle and prostitute themselves for money. They sniff glue to curb hunger and to escape from the world around them. Yet the spirit of a child is ever present, as they play with balloons, sing, dance and dream of their mothers. When Tanya, a beautiful 14-year-old homeless girl dies from a glue overdose, the magnitude and urgency of this issue become overwhelmingly apparent. Tanya's friend condemns her crying mother and blames her alcohol addiction for causing Tanya's death. This film explores the social ills and shortcomings of a country still struggling to live up to its democratic expectations. With English subtitles.

Warning: Contains disturbing graphic scenes and drug use. Previewing before use is highly recommended.

2004, 33 min 42 s