Edelstyn keeps things lively by mixing scrappy reportage with more stylised scenes of him and his partner in period garb, animated inserts and clips from other films, but there’s an air of insincerity. It’s as if Edelstyn’s desire to make a film came before his desire to explore his roots and start a business, and not vice versa. Most compelling are extracts from Maroussia’s diary as she flees the Bolsheviks and arrives in Britain, although even these are undermined by Edelstyn, who appeals for equal sympathy from us for his petty dealings in the booze game. Clumsy but endearing.
Cast and crew