"Do you remember the happiest moment of your life?"
"When my daughter was born."
"What surprised you the most about parenthood?"
"The teenage years."
"When I was fifteen, I was raped by three boys while competing at a gymnastics tournament. I was so ashamed, that I stood on a train track, and waited for the train to come. At the last moment, I tried to jump away. I woke up after a month. It was the middle of the night, and I could immediately tell that something was missing. I started feeling all over my body, and that’s when I realized that I’d lost my arm. Now I counsel teenagers who have been diagnosed with HIV. I’m normally the first to meet with them after they get their results. I try to explain to them that there’s a way out of even the most impossible situations."
"Ukraine has suffered so much. We’ve lost so many people to war and famines and historical events. Almost seven million Ukrainians were killed in World War II, more than any other country. We don’t need much in this country. We’re not an imperialistic people. We aren’t very warlike. Our land is covered with black soil, so we can grow everything we need. We just need peace."
"Do you remember the proudest you’e ever been of your son?"
"The time he asked me to buy some tools so he could make his grandmother a bird feeder."
(Bila Tserkva, Ukraine)
"What’s the plan if the farmer comes?"
"What do you want to be when you grow up?"
"What will be the best part of being a dad?"
"Buying myself a skateboard."
She initially said “no” when I asked for a photo, but another old woman walked by, and began speaking passionately in Ukrainian. Apparently convinced by the words of the passerby, the woman shrugged, and posed for the picture. After everything was finished, I asked my translator: “What did that other woman say?”
"She said: ‘You must not refuse a photo, because you must represent the women of your land. Now go to eternity!’"
"I fell in love with a girl who, logically, I knew was not a good match for me. It didn’t end well. Afterwards, I made a short film based on the relationship— basically saying that you shouldn’t let your heart overrule your head. And now I’ve made the exact same mistake with another girl."