ALMOST HOLY, the critically acclaimed sophomore feature documentary from director Steve Hoover will open in New York and Los Angeles on May 20th.
ALMOST HOLY (formerly titled CROCODILE GENNADIY), from director Steve Hoover (Sundance Grand Jury and Audience Award winner Blood Brother) is executive produced by Terrence Malick and features a score by Atticus Ross (Gone Girl, The Social Network). The film premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival.
The documentary follows Pastor Gennadiy Mokhnenko as he attempts to rescue homeless and drug-addicted Ukrainian youth, utilizing highly controversial “tough love” methods in which he forcibly abducts street kids. A powerful portrait of a unorthodox folk hero, the film serves as a eye-opening look into Ukraine’s rapidly evolving social and political reality.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine’s social and political institutions faced massive change, including an increasingly corrupt government and crippled infrastructure. A number of the nation’s youth wound up homeless and addicted to a lethal cocktail of injected cold medicine and alcohol.
In the early 2000s a pastor named Gennadiy Mokhnenko took up the fight against child homelessness by forcibly abducting street kids and bringing them to his Pilgrim Republic rehabilitation center—the largest organization of its kind in the former Soviet Union. Gennadiy’s ongoing efforts and unabashedly tough love approach to his city’s problems has made him a folk hero for some, and a lawless vigilante to others. Despite criticism, Gennadiy is determined to continue his work.