Reviews and Festivals
"Looks at a young girls' gymnastics program and poignantly touches one of Soviet society's most delicate issues: what it will do to its children — to their futures, to their minds, to their bodies — to make them champions."
— New York Times
"A poignant expose of Soviet gymnastics. Girls too young to make informed choices about their lives are shown being pushed by parents and coaches into training that damages their bodies and neglects their minds."
— The Washington Post
"Disturbing...a study of how a group of very young girls is being trained to become gymnasts under strict conditions and with little apparent regard to the physical toll exacted of their bodies and to their lack of opportunity for a real education. Providing a by-and-large grim perspective on these children are such former champion athletes as Olga Korbut and Lyudmila Turischeva."
— Los Angeles Times
"Scathing portrayal of the Soviet gymnastics program, alternating sequences depicting the psychologically and physically brutal training of young female [athletes]"
— The Russian Review
"It shows the dehumanizing world of industrial alienation with some touches of black humor. At the poultry factory, the women workers treat the chickens with the same callous cruelty they themselves experience"
— Anna Lawton, Kinoglasnost: Soviet Cinema in Our Time
"Blank and impassive, the workers dressed in white gowns are throwing still-moving chicken bodies into iron containers from where they soon will join their dead and pulled next-of-kin. A watchful camera notices, though, that the difference between the victims and the butchers is not so big."
— Vilnius Documentary Film Festival
"Portrays the dehumanizing world of industrial labor and its effect on women, drawing comparisons between the conditions of the chickens at the poultry factory where the women work with the living situations of the women themselves."
— Erin Alpert, Visualizing the Past: Perestroika Documentary Memory of Stalin-Era Trauma
Kiev International Film Festival Molodist, Grand Prix
Krakow International Film Festival
Vilnius Documentary Film Festival
Kiev International Film Festival Molodist
Sverdlovsk Film Festival
Days of Independent Films