Resentment (f/k/a Poplars)

: Narrative Short
GENRE: Drama
STATUS: Pre-Production


A Ukrainian-Jewish boy struggles against an anti-Semitic culture and his father’s will, confronting the question of what it means to defend and protect one’s family.


Ukraine. 1987. A Jewish boy, seeking to leave his oppressive surroundings, struggles against his father’s will and refusal to abandon their “home.” Their desire to live a pacific life is challenged by a confrontation with an anti-Semitic neighbor, and the boy’s decision to take matters into his own hands.


It’s been twenty-five years since Resentment’s writer/director, Gleb Osatinski, left Ukraine, immigrating to the United States. He hasn’t been back since. His family landed in south Brooklyn and America soon became their second home. They began to thrive here, in the United States, feeling safe in a land of immigrants. All these years, he rarely thought of going back to his homeland. But, with the current state of politics in America, he began to have flashbacks to his past. The memories of how he and his family felt -- the anti-Semitic conditions that caused them to abandon their home -- started to haunt him. He soon realized that he wanted to confront these ghosts from his past, in part to better understand the forces that have defined him as a person, but also to better understand the forces that shape our current social discourse. When Ukraine became independent, Gleb’s mother made a decision to leave the country. His father resisted going, despite the fact that he was the victim of a fair degree of oppression and intimidation. And for a long time, their family lived on the brink of breaking up, not knowing what to expect from one day to the next. It was as if they were suspended in midair, held aloft by the tension of the unknown. Gleb lived in an industrial neighborhood, and his was one of the very few Jewish families around. He was called ‘Zhid’ -- an anti-Semitic slur -- once in a while. It was probably the most offensive word he’d heard in his life. Ant-Semitism was a state-supported business in Ukraine at that time. Growing up, all he wanted to do was hide his identity -- his Jewishness. Gleb’s neighbors often called his family “foreigners”, demanding they go back to their “home”. Of course, Gleb struggled to understand what country that was, because Ukraine was his home - the place he was born and lived all his years. On one occasion, the neighbor hit Gleb’s father with a tree branch across the face. He recalls his father coming into their apartment, bleeding from his mouth, and before they could leave for the hospital, that neighbor’s wife came to the door and offered money in exchange for silence. Gleb’s father took the money and forgave them. Gleb took this gesture as an act of weakness. Didn't he have self-respect? It took Gleb years to appreciate what his father did -- it was his way of defending them because their government and the social structures surrounding them couldn’t. Resentment is based on those memories from growing up in Ukraine and, in particular, on its director’s relationship with his father. It draws on issues of cultural identity and presents a specific snapshot of a political time and space, and how those external forces influence our inner lives and individuality. And how we can so often feel like foreigners in our own home.


Gleb Osatinski - Director & Screenwriter

Gleb Osatinski is an accomplished director and screenwriter. Gleb has directed and produced six award-winning short films, which have screened at more than a dozen film festivals around the world. His film THE QUANTIFIED SELF was nominated Best Narrative Short at Woodstock Film Festival, has received a Programmers Award at Sidewalk Film Festival, and Runner UP award at the Boston Underground Film Festival. It was also featured on ARTE TV in France and Germany. His short film CHECKMATE won the REEL13 contest and was aired on PBS. His short film FATHER will have its international premiere at Krakow Film Festival 2020 Short Films competition. OUTSIDERS, won Best Student Short at Paris Film Festival, Moscow Film Festival and recieved nominations for Best Dramatic Short from Ashland Film Festival and Maryland Film Festival. He is a recepeint of 2020 Katherina Otto-Bernstein grant at Columbia University.




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The Gotham Film & Media Institute - Fiscal Sponsorship Program 2023
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