How a Toronto-bound documentary could change perceptions about Putin’s adoption ban.

Director Sarah McCarthy (second from left) and the Diaz family on Capitol Hill

Director Sarah McCarthy (second from left) and the Diaz family on Capitol Hill

The filmmaking team behind documentary The Dark Matter of Love has launched a campaign for the film to be used as an advocacy tool for the Russian children stuck in Putin’s US adoption ban.

The Russian President signed the bill in December 2012 banning the adoption of Russian children by US citizens, and it includes more than 300 kids who had already met their ‘new parents’ but are now left in orphanages. The ban is part of a bill retaliating against the Magnitsky Act, an American law aimed at punishing human rights abuses in Russia.

McCarthy’s moving film follows an American family, the Diazes, who adopt three Russian children (they were adopted before the ban was in place).

The film, which is now confirmed to screen in Toronto, has screened on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC and at the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in Istanbul. (There’s a video here of Congressman Robert Aderholt talking about it.)

McCarthy previously directed films including The Sound of Mumbai, another Toronto selection in 2010.

The Dark Matter Of Love will also be broadcast on TV Rain, one of Russia’s few remaining independent TV stations.

The Toronto screening will coincide with President Obama’s visit to Moscow, which could be an opportunity to see the ban eased.

“The platform that Toronto can offer a film like this is just insane. I absolutely love it and can’t wait to get back there,” McCarthy tells Screen.

ro*co films is selling internationally.

Click here for a petition for the kids stuck in the ban (“67,000 signatures and counting”).