"Working with pictures of the house and the souvenirs, with letters, sound recordings and especially with Italian animation artist Simone Massi’s excellent visuals, Aliona van der Horst has created a moving and profound work of art, not without risking a pinch of irony and humour, too."
Interreligious Jury Dok Leipzig
"The filmmaker opens a door of her family house in Russia, walks inside and discovers in every corner of the house pieces of the history of her family, that she layer by layer, like a Russian Matryoshka, reveals with a lot of poetry. We discover through carefully and cleverly constructed scenes how the lives of her family members were affected by the famines in Russia in the thirties. Among the techniques used is a beautiful and touching animation that connects world historic events with the lives of ordinary people. This way of connecting the personal and the general is what makes “Love Is Potatoes” unforgettable. "
International jury Dokleipzig 2017
One day, Dutch film maker van der Horst was given her inheritance: 6 square meters, one sixth of a small, wooden house in the Russian countryside where her mother grew up. It was as if life had handed her a card she felt forced to play.
She began a journey into the past, back into the childhood of her Russian mother and her five sisters, all of whom struggled with fear, famine and war in Stalin’s Russia; experiences that left them scarred to their very soul.
Aliona’s quest into the lives and fate of her family becomes a loving, poignant, and poetic film with Chekhovian characters. Accompanied by the magical animation of acclaimed Italian artist Simone Massi, unimaginable events in the Soviet past are given an immediate charge. Along with the stories of ordinary people living in the small farmhouse, the film maker tells the tale of Soviet terror, immense bravery and a fear that has never left those four walls.