Teresa is a very religious woman. Together with her only child Luka,
they have lived their entire life in a poor district of Kyiv.
To bring excitement to his life, Luka and his girlfriend start
experimenting with drugs. During one of their trips, Luka loses
control over his body and needs to be hospitalized.Teresa is devastated,
she fully loses trust in her son.
A local priest who is aware of the situation advises her to place Luka in a closed religious rehab center where, he believes, the strategy: “Ora et Labora” will definitely change Luka’s attitude. Luka is taken by force from his house.
The rehab center reminds a prison, with the monks behaving like guards. Any act of insubordination results in disproportionate punishment. Luka learns fast that he has to fight for his life. When the only person he trusts dies beaten by the center workers, he decides to contact his mother and beg her for forgiveness and ask for help, but she refuses to.
Left alone, desperate for a change, Luka uses his friend’s death to escape.
The story of “Eden House” is based on real life events that took place about 5 years ago. It is a testimony of one of my friends who was 16 years old at that time, and who one day just disappeared from our local secondary school.
Years have passed and I’ve learned that he was captivated in a religious rehab center, where he was tortured, forced to work over his strengths, and trained to obey the head of the institution.
He was taken as a drug addict and his religious family did not even consider sending him to psychotherapy. “Eden House” it’s a coming-of-age story of a youngster from the industrial environment in Kyiv, where life is hard, but growing up is even harder. As a 21-year-old director, I remember this period in life very clearly, when you realize that your childhood is coming to an end and it’s time to become a grown-up. In my country, the youngsters are caught between two worlds: Eastern traditions passed on by their parents, who mostly value religious conservative traditions; and their idols from Western countries, whose lifestyle they are trying to copy.
My protagonist got trapped between false idols and restrictions of his religion, and he has to find his own way. The rehab center is not helping him but for me, it stands for structures of power implemented in totalitarian countries. The turning point is when the main character Luka realizes that he has to take his life in his own hands, grow up, escape from the trap and choose the freedom to make life choices on his own. This is an important story of both despair and hope, which I want to capture as authentically as I can.
Adelina Borets was born in the industrial city - Mariupol, in the southeast of Ukraine. She has been practicing dance and ballet for over 12 years. After graduating in 2015, she joined Kyiv National University of Theater, Film and Television IK Karpenko Kary at the acting department. In October 2015 when the war began in Ukraine, she left for Warsaw and enrolled to the acting department. In 2016 she entered the Warsaw Film School at the Faculty of Directing, where she received a scholarship and completed more than 10 etudes, as well as her debut documentary film "The wormwood star". She’s also done a few music videos for Ukrainian artists, but her aim in life is to make her own author’s movie.
Bogdan Borysenko was born in Kyiv, in a family of musicians. He has been studying journalism and film production. In 2017 he started learning Direction of Photography at The Film School in Lodz. He was the co-creator of "The wormwood star" - a documentary, that has been awarded in many film festivals. He’s also done many fashion movies and music videos. Bogdan cultivates working on 35mm and 16 mm film stock and he’s passionate about analog photography.