Ukraine's Forgotten Children

Ukraine's Forgotten Children
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Review

Ukraine has just spent £9 billion preparing for Euro 2012, yet there are an estimated 80,000 “social orphans” existing in underfunded state-run institutions. The system blithely labels them feeble-minded even when some could live independently, while the chronically sick children are stuck in institutions with no professional medical staff.

Kate Blewett (The Dying Rooms, Bulgaria’s Abandoned Children) filmed for six months in a shabby home where the despairing staff are doing their best, despite overwhelming problems. She also meets former inmates who ended up in psychiatric institutions where they were abused and used as slave labour but who are now challenging their “incapacitated” categorisation in the courts. Blewett never lards her documentaries with sentimentalism. She just lets the harrowing facts speak for themselves.

Summary

Film-maker Kate Blewett investigates the institutional care system in Ukraine, where 10 times as many children are in care as in England. Shot over six months in an institute housing 126 disabled and abandoned children, Blewett uncovers evidence that housing children of widely varying abilities is causing more harm than good.
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