After the spring of ’68: a story about love

  • history
  • human interest

After the spring of ’68 is a film about falling in love across a political, cultural and geographic divide.

The film tells of Simon, a Dutch student in Moscow, who meets and marries Russian Zoya in the spring of 1968. Simon returns to the Netherlands, expecting his wife to follow shortly afterwards when her exit visa is granted. Her application is refused, but the couple are determined to overcome the political bariers to their love and be reunited. A child is born to Zoya in Moscow: director Aliona van der Horst relates her parents’ struggle in this tender account of family history caught up in international politics.

To tell her parents’ story Van der Horst weaves together archival footage, home movies and photographs with contemporary interviews. Simon shows love letters to his beloved Zoya that he has not read since writing them 30 years previously. These provide a linking thread through the film, expressing Simon's commitment to Zoya and feelings of helplessness: ‘Our happiness depends on how the political wind blows’.

The film constructs a rich visual fabric, evoking memories, passions and regrets, and explores how an intimate human story was affected so strongly by world history. After the spring of ’68 is a tale of determination and disappointment that testifies to the strength of the human spirit.

A co-production between Viewpoint Productions and NPS Television.

Written and directed by Aliona van der Horst.