How to Re-Establish a Vodka Empire
United Kingdom | 76 mins | English
“When peace is restored, you must go to Russia and find my people.” In a London attic, director Daniel Edelstyn comes upon these words written in a tattered journal by the exiled grandmother he never knew, the flamboyant dancer Maroussia Zorokovich. Now, nearly 70 years after her final note goodbye, the curious Edelstyn sets off to Ukraine, to seek out the sugar factory once owned by his prosperous Jewish ancestors before they fled the Russian Revolution. Arriving in the snowbound hamlet, the filmmaker finds the sugar factory and discovers a functioning vodka distillery also built by his great-grandfather. Edelstyn returns to London with the intention of importing his family brand into the UK. Real life interrupts Edelstyn’s comic misadventures as he finds his bank account rapidly shrinking and his girlfriend/cinematographer finds herself pregnant. Ultimately this is a touching tribute from the filmmaker to his grandmother, the woman he never met but whose nearly forgotten words forever altered the direction of his life.