The Traitor’s Daughter: the first big shift in story approach By

The Traitor’s Daughter: the first big shift in story approach

This is the first ‘draft’ of a new, radical shift in approach to the story, created with director-shot footage on location in Netherhill, Saskatchewan, Toronto, Bad Salzuflen, Perm, and Moscow, augmented by uncleared archival footage, narrated by directer.  This is a rare opportunity for film buffs or students to compare two versions of the same story, to see how one idea matures over  the development phase. Most directors do not share this process with their audience. This footage was shot over a 20-year window of following the main subject, the director’s mother, a Russian Red Army soldier, captured during the Second World and forced into Nazi slavery. This demo is not for broadcast. Script: Roxana Spicer. Editor: Michele Hozer.

An idea begins to take form….

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26 Comments

  1. This looks like the beginnings of a very intriguing and powerful film. I’d love to see where this journey goes.

  2. Janet Thomson

    Wow! Intriguing!
    Love the cinematography.
    The script is amazing. I like the fact that your story and your mother’s story are entwined.
    This film must be made and I will be at the opening with all my friends!
    Also, as the niece of two men who fought in WWII, I would be happy to contribute to the discussion group about WWII. My Uncle James King died in a tank in Italy and my Uncle Daniel King came home to Canada to tell the tales.

    1. I would love to hear more about your family story. I hope you will jump on the site again, and contribute to an amazing international dialogue about the Silent Generation.

  3. Joan Melanson

    sounds like the beginning of a gripping tale. I want to see more!

  4. Hannah James

    Fantastic trailer! I hope this film gets made. It’s a very courageous project and an important piece of history – both personal and political – that should not be left in the shadows.

  5. Brennan Leffler

    Sounds like a deep, dark secret. I’m dying to know what your mother had to do to survive that hell.

  6. Claude Adams

    I’m especially intrigued by the working title, and how the story you will tell leads to that powerful and devastating characterization . . . Vivid history, and how that history affects a mother-daughter relationship–what a compelling combination!

  7. amanda spicer

    This will be your best work yet, the heart is really in it, great job, so wanting to see more.

  8. It will be an incredible and moving documentary using archives, old-fashioned detective work leading no doubt to profound discoveries about your mother. I am looking forward to your website launch.

  9. Nisha Pahuja

    wow Rocky
    I’ve got chills. What a journey this must have been for you and probably still is.
    Are you finished the film?? Dying to see it.
    The fact that a whole generation probably kept so many secrets and the impact of that on successive generations–I can’t seem to wrap my head around the profundity of that.

  10. Sounds amazing- what a journey and project! This needs to get made!

    1. I look forward to hearing more of your feedback, as I continue to post updated video clips and new posts!

  11. Andrea McCabe

    You truly do have a talent for bringing out the drama . . . I sure hope you get to make this film because it will be like watching a great mystery book unfolding.

  12. Hmm, a wartime mystery with daughter as detective….I like this a lot. I love how the VHS-era interview with your mother shows just how long you’ve pursued this. Consider me hooked.

  13. This video trailer is so well done. Your story-to-be is moving beyond words. Best of luck. I know it will be amazing when you’re done.

  14. That was a gripping video. Very intriguing. Would like to see the finished product and learn more from what was mentioned in the trailer!

  15. Very insightful. Well done Ms. Spicer.

  16. Wow! Very compelling. Would love to learn more about her story. How amazing that you captured her saying on tape that her story should never be told. All the more reason to learn from it.
    How brave of you to share this very personal picture of your life. I loved the bleakness of the Sask pictures against the storyline.

    1. While the bleakness of Saskatchewan sets a tone for the trailer, it also provided a refuge of sorts for a woman determined not to be a victim. My mother’s decision to remain silent her entire life was the burden she chose in order to protect her children from the truth. Still, I feel I must tell her story, in defiance of her last wish. It is a decision I weigh every day. Do I have the right?

  17. Richard Bishop

    Roxana — beautifully done and I too find the title very intriguing, as is the whole piece. Your own moral quandary combined with the darkness of the time….the mystery of your mother and why she didnt want to talk. The weight of what she carried inside. I want to see more!

    1. The moral dilemma of the daughter versus the journalist continues to weigh on me with every stroke of the keyboard, and yet I am compelled to share this story with as many people as possible, in order that the memory of what my mother suffered and overcame is never lost, nor is it in vain. Together, we all must raise our voices and share these stories as this generation of brave and extraordinary people vanish to infirmity and death.

  18. Peter Kavanagh

    Very well done…real sense of tension in the trailer…look forward to this project unfolding…

  19. Krysia Collyer

    The trailer made me want to see more. Very compelling! It’s an important story to tell. Can’t wait to hear how it turns out.

    1. Krysia, I am so pleased to get your response, knowing that your grandmother suffered a similar story to that of my mom. I encourage you to come back to this site and tell us your own story. Together our voices will keep this extraordinary part of history alive.

  20. Susan Teskey

    What an incredible doc this will be! A profoundly moving and personal tale of a daughter’s quest, a mother’s secret; a decades old mystery that illuminates in the most personal way the terror of WWII and the evil of Nazi Germany. A documentary that goes to the heart of what it means to be human. I can’t imagine anyone turning away from this. Oh, and are the feature rights available?

  21. Wow!! Looks amazing! So mysterious… I love all the old footage. Hope this gets made!! I can see why she wouldn’t want the story to be told… But what an interesting story. So sad but so mysterious… I love it!

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