The documentary “Once There Was Love” by Håkan Pieniowski and Kåge Jonsson won the Grand Prix-price for Best Movie at the film festival Art Doc Fest, in Moscow in December 2012.
Twelve years ago Anya and Xenya had a daughter, Nadya. They were very young, and their life soon became a problem. Xenya ended up in jail, and Anya and Nadya ended up living with Xenyas family.
During the twelve years that have passed, Anya has done quite a lot of changes in her own and Nadya’s life, some of them involving Xenya. The first time Xenya went to jail – for beating Anya – he didn’t have to stay that long. But the second time he was sentenced to four years, for rape.
During most of the twelve years Anya has worked with Xenyas mother in their shoemaker’s workshop. Xenyas father, a retired policeman, has come and gone in the shop, taken care of his granddaughter, but also had a relationship with Anya. When Sasha, Xenya’s father, beats Anya and ends up in prison, Anya finally leaves Xenyas family. She has divorced Xenya and has found a new man, with whom she and Nadya lives.
"Once There Was Love"is the final piece in the multi-award winning trilogy chronicling a tale of a one-time middle class Russian family whose life is slowly coming apart at the edges. Covering the 12 years since the birth of baby Nadya, this film builds upon the previous films, including the Prix Italia-winner "I Love you Natasja", and offers a dramatic story from small town Russia.
Previous documentaries in the triology:
“I Love You Natascha” (1999)
“I Love You My Child” (2001)