Tag Archives: Russia


This film, that reminds strongly of a Disney-film because of the style of drawing and the style of music, is really anything but a Disney-film. Despite the fact it even has two little helpers, just like Disney usually has.

The story is about Anastasia, who is born and raised in the rich aristocracy of Russia, where, during a party, Rasputin has invited himself, cursing all of the Romanov family. He wants them all to die. The family which Anastasia is part of. This happens shortly after Anastasia was given a small music box by her grandmother.

Because of the curse of Rasputin, the family is forced to flee the scene instantly, as Rasputin wants to kill everyone, setting the house on fire. During the flight, grandmother and Anastasia loose each other. Grandmother is on the train and loses grip on Anastasia’s hand, causing her to fall down.

Years later, it appears that Anja (her name by now) has no recollection of the life she led before her 8th birthday, the moment the party ¬†was. She is, by now, grown up, leaving the orphanage she’s been living in, to start her own life as a cleaning lady. At least, that’s what she’s supposed to do, according to the head mistress. But Anja has a will of her own. The road goes in two opposite directions. Which ones shall she take?

The film was made by Fox film corporation, and this is noticeable. There’s far more elements of it being a drawn musical at times than in Disney films. The drama is heavier, it’s far less suitable for small children with a strong imagination, who might get nightmares from such dark images. Especially Rasputin being depicted as being in a darker world, can be too much for a happy mind. You should watch along, or fast forward. Though it’s very possible that the fact there’s no blood visible, makes it funny for those who aren’t that weak in the stomach, or just care less.
There’s a scene, however, in Paris, where one of the statues (of a horse, with wings) becomes evil by the touch of magic. I wouldn’t call that very suitable for small children either.

Then again, the fact that in Disney films usually a prince or any male type person has to rescue the girl in her bloody expensive dress from any evil beings, is nicely compensated here. The girl does it all by herself, telling the bastard in his face he can go take a hike. Of course, she has help, but she’s the one who stands there with her dress being torn apart, kicking and giving a big mouth. Good stuff.

All in all, I’d say this is a nice film, but I wouldn’t recommend your kid watching it on her/his own that first time. At least hang in there for the music, it’s truly lovely.

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Posted by on June 25, 2017 in Films, Opinion


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One of the scariest things that can happen to a parent, or even just plain simply THE scariest thing that can happen, is when your child goes missing. Really missing.
When I worked in a kindergarten this was always my biggest fear. Even more so as my parents raised me with: ‘if it’s not yours, be even more careful with it’. Even though this was meant for things you borrowed from friends, I took this advice very, very seriously. So when it came to babysitting or watching someone else’s children, I’ve always felt, in a way, even more responsible.

One of the places I worked, me and my colleague had a very quiet intern. Very quiet. And yes, my colleague and me could talk a bit, but it wasn’t like that. The intern truly barely spoke a word, even though she smiled a lot.
One could tell she was a friendly creature by how she treated the kids. She did speak and sing to them as part of her training. The girl was about 18 years of age when she came with us, and I had, in a moment of being silly, found out she was in fact a mother of a two-year-old. I had been quite shocked about that, but in a funny way. I believe I wrote about this specific experience in another blog.
She had told us her own mother would be coming over from Russia to visit to see her grandchild for the first time.

‘My mother is a bit funny’, the intern had told us. And only because I asked. It was a bit of an understatement, too. Her mother had send her away to the Netherlands for better educational chances as the girl was quite gifted when it came to Gymnastics. Then, when she was here, she fell pregnant at the age of 15. Het mother, having been a teenmom herself had been furious and cut off all contact after that. So her coming to meet her grandchild really was quite special.

One morning, I remembered this again. As the girl didn’t talk if you didn’t ask anything, I did have to keep up with the things we spoke about. Otherwise I wouldn’t know how to act around her, as I would, quite simply, have no idea what was going on inside her head.
So I asked her: how are your mother and little one doing? To which she answered, shockingly:
‘My Mom took her away. She didn’t think I was raising her well enough’, she seemed relieved to have said it, but to tell you the truth I was ready to buy a ticket to that darn country and tell that grandmother what I thought of her action?!
‘How did she manage that??’ I asked, shocked. It turned out that the house the girl was living in with her daughter, had a code to lock the doors. Mom had known the code and simply took her grandchild. Travelling by train, apparently she didn’t need a passport, as that was still present in the room.
‘How did you manage to keep so quiet?!’ my other colleague, whom I told the story, asked the girl later on.
‘I just live day by day. It’s the only thing I can do at this moment’.

In the end, the police of both countries were contacted. The grandmother and the grandchild got daily visits from the police until the court there decided that grandmother had unlawfully taken the child. It was about three months before they were reunited. It was all well in the end, but it ended my fairytale of grandmothers being nice persons by defenition.

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Posted by on August 31, 2015 in Daily life


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