Ukrainian on The Sopranos

This aired on the second last episode of The Sopranos, titled “The Blue Comet“:

Paulie Walnuts and Patsy Parisi heed Tony’s plan for a hit on Phil. Corky Caporale arranges the hit but it fails when the “cousins from Italy” hired to do the job kill Phil’s goomah (Yaryna) and her father, mistaking him for Phil. When Corky is told of the hit on the phone, while he’s in an adult video store, he thinks little of the fact that the murdered man spoke Ukrainian, simply responding “Whatever,” and he calls Patsy Parisi to tell him that the job is done and wonders about Phil speaking Ukrainian. Patsy puts it off and just transmits “It’s done.”

Yaryna (played by Matilda Downey who is Polish-American) and her Father were the first people on The Sopranos who actually spoke Ukrainian. She appeared in the second last episode and the last.

Another actress Oksana Lada (who also appeared in CSI Miami & 30 Rock under stage name Oksana Babiy) played Irina Peltsin from Kazahkstan, Svetlana’s cousin and Tony’s love interest at one point. She is actually from Ivano-Frankivsk oblast in Ukraine who studied Economics before emigrating to the US and started modelling and acting.

It’s interesting why producer David Chase chose to use Ukrainian in the show, his show is full of symbolism and political observances. While in the same episode he references the decline of the American Century to the Asian Century, is he also commenting on the rise of Orange Ukraine?

Discover Kyiv’s golden domed cathedrals, cobblestones and charm

The Canadian Press: Discover Kyiv’s golden domed cathedrals, cobblestones and charm

KYIV, Ukraine — Shining with Orthodox golden domes that rise from forested hilltops, crisscrossed by narrow cobblestone streets and speckled by quiet, leafy parks, Kyiv draws visitors with an Eastern European charm.

And for those who seek the exotic artifacts of the Soviet era – Lenin statues, imposing bronze monuments and colonnaded subway stations – Kyiv has those too.

Founded over 1,500 years ago, Kyiv is one of the oldest and historically richest cities in Eastern Europe. The site of the ancient Kyivan Rus state, forerunner of the Russian empire, it is considered the birthplace of Slavic civilization. The city endured the Mongol-Tatar invasion, was an important provincial capital in the Tsarist and Soviet eras and in 1991 finally became the capital of an independent Ukraine.

Today, Kyiv strives to be a proper European city, at the same time preserving its unique Slavic appeal. Cut in two by the broad Dnieper river, the city is a mix of medieval onion-domed Orthodox cathedrals, elegant turn of the 20th century buildings and some stubbornly durable artifacts of the Soviet times, including giant statues and gloomy apartment blocks on the city’s outskirts.

read more…

Cool article from the Canadian Press!

UPDATE: It’s too bad when the Associated Press circulated the article they Rusified the capital. Even in Canada.

UPDATE #2: A very sobering reply to this article

Last chance for ‘The English Surgeon’ Wednesday in Toronto

I just got back from the first of two screenings of The English Surgeon from HotDocs in Toronto, and I must say it was quite an amazing movie! Excellent story, beautiful music and cinematography makes this movie a must-see. It is airing only once more this Wednesday at 4:30pm if you can make it, I would highly recommend it!

Here is a HotDocs interview with director Geoffrey Smith, and another interview from the Glasgow Film Festival last month:

Holodomor Remembrace flame roars through the Praries

UPDATE: More details have been added for cities

The Holodomor Remembrance flame was in Winnipeg on Sunday and got its first mainstream media coverage. There was no mention anywhere when it made its debut in Toronto last Friday. The Flame will be escorted at these events by Holodomor survivor Stefan Horlatsch (bio). If you know of any pictures, please let us know in the comments! Here are the dates for the rest of the tour in Canada:

A site for cossack canucks