A Scattering of Seeds: The Creation of Canada
Episodes Search Site Map The Series Partners White Pine White Pine Home

Directors: Patrick Reed and Laurence Green

About the Film
Patrick Reed and Laurence Green's The Other Side of the Curtain is an exuberant celebration of a Lithuanian actress who settled in Hamilton, Ontario. Born to a prominent theatre family, Elena Kudaba was an acclaimed young actress in Lithuania when WWII threatened to rob her of that dream. One of 20,000 'Displaced Persons', she escaped as a refugee just as her homeland fell behind the Iron curtain of Soviet occupation. She emigrated to Hamilton in 1949.

Within months of arriving in Canada, Elena Kudaba founded an amateur theatre troupe called Aukuras ("Eternal Flame") for her community. Her Canadian career, with roles in over two dozen feature films, hundreds of stage productions, and countless television appearances, rose as dramatically as the curtain itself.

Elena's determination to keep the past present in the future has inspired generations of Lithuanian-Canadians, many attending performances, some participating in productions. Over fifty years and three children later, Elena continues to command centre stage, rightfully admired by her community, supported by her family, and ably assisted by her eldest daughter, Danute.

Directors Patrick Reed and Laurence Green have used the richness and rarity of archival footage along with the powerful performances of their central characters to create a dramatic and moving portrait. Both directors grew up in the Hamilton area, where The Other Side of the Curtain is set.

Top of page.