Born in USSR

Thereâ??s was internet or phone connection in the office this morning. And while most of people around are whining that they are bored, I was thankful for this unscheduled break, because it let me take this time, open up Byword and write.

Iâ??ve been writing less this past week because I got sucked into watching this fascinating documentary series called â??Born in USSRâ?. The concept is based on the â??Up seriesâ? created by a British filmmaker. The idea is very cool – a group of people of the same age are filmed first when they are 7 year old children, then as teenagers at 14, then as young adults at 21 and 28. The British version goes on and on, every 7 years, up to age 56 so far. The one about kids born in USSR started in 1990 and is up to age 28 as of now.

There are several things that make this documentary series so gripping and amazing.

First, the kids are all different, boys, girls, twins, from different socio-economic backgrounds spread across the huge country that is former USSR. A few of them donâ??t even speak Russian as their first language when they are kids.

Second, just the fact that they are kids at age 7. As someone said, if you want to know the truth – ask a child. They are at this wonder age, when they are able to understand things in their own way, and communicate and interpret their worldviews in the most sincere and open way.

The kids are asked different questions, and itâ??s fascinating to see their honesty in giving answers, and how different they are. I donâ??t want to spoil the film for you, so youâ??ll have to watch and see for yourself. Knowing that youâ??ll be able to see these kids at 14 and 21, makes you wonder about their future, and you almost want and try and predict who they will become.

And lastly, it also happens so that the kids are around my age, and watching the series made me relate to them even more, as I, too, was born in USSR, in one of the former Soviet republics, and lived through the same events that shaped, or I should say destroyed, our country. Our generation lived through a very turbulent, but very interesting time, and we were young enough, AND old enough, to understand and process what was going on.

I am so infatuated with this film, that I want to tell everyone to watch it. Here are a few links for videos available online:

  • Age 7, part 1
  • Age 7, part 2
  • Age 7, part 3
  • I talked about it with Sean, and he had an interesting perspective on this. While he loves the idea of capturing life on film as it happens, he also said that watching this would make him incredibly sad. Of course I asked – why? Because the kids grow up, and their innocence and childlike wonder-view of the world is lost, and they get thrown into harsh realities of life and mundane daily struggles. Part of me agrees, because thereâ??s nothing like childhood, and a sense of wonder and openness and curiosity that lives in every kid. But part of me is also optimistic, because despite all of insanity that was former and broken USSR, the kids grew up and are alright. This also made me realize, once again, how lucky I was being born in Kazakhstan, into my amazing family, that was always together and still together.

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