Watch The Trailer
Storyline (warning: spoilers)
Anastasiia Budiaskina is a Ukrainian gymnast. She was chosen by director Elie Grappe to play Olga for her skills as an athlete. Grappe felt Budiaskina could be taught the skills necessary for her to perform. Grappe's decision was a triumph. Olga achieves its power through the strength and mind of a new star of the screen, that is if she decides on a performance career.
15 year old Olga lives with her mother, Illona (Tanya Mikhina), a journalist and activist against the Communist reign of Yanukovych during the time of his demise (2013). Her determination to maintain the rage compromises the safety of both herself and daughter. After a near horrific traffic incident Illona decides to use her deceased husband's Swiss citizenship to have Olga enter the prestigious Swiss gymnastics program. The film takes us into the world of a determined teen who has to deal with the stresses of; expectation, worry about the safety of her mother, hoping for acceptance by other gymnasts, the barrier of language, and striving to maintain acceptable standards for an elite athlete. Budiaskina is brilliant. Her stress is soon our stress!
Olga is very much a Swiss film. A submission for that country at The Oscars for Best Foreign Language film. It deserves that accolade. More importantly it is being shown, mainly in English speaking countries, in concurrent events to raise awareness and money for the women and girls of war-torn Ukraine. And Budiaskina, the talented athlete and performer who took us on Olga's incredible journey? Well, she is safely out of her native Ukraine and living in Poland. A happy ending for her at present. As for Olga and its ending? Go see the film to find out.