Near the frontlines in Eastern Ukraine, dedicated social workers work tirelessly in “A House Made of Splinters” on POV – July 17 at 10 pm

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‘POV’ Explores the Lives of Children Impacted by War in Ukraine in

‘A House Made of Splinters’

Monday, July 17 at 10 pm


Following its award winning festival run, the Oscar® nominated A House Made of Splinters directed by POV alum Simon Lemeng Wilmont (The Distant Barking of Dogs) and produced by Oscars® nominee Monica Hellström (Flee) will make its national broadcast premiere on Monday, July 17, 2023  and will be available to stream until October 15, 2023 at, and the PBS App. In addition to standard closed captioning for the film, POV, in partnership with audio description service DiCapta, provides real time audio interpretations for audiences with sensory disabilities.

Two children sit against a wall with green shapes painted in the shape of leaves or wings. The girl with red hair wears a light gray sweater and matching pants, her eyes wide and both knees tucked against her with her arms embracing them. The girl with dark hair beside her has a knit sweater and torn jeans, one knee up while her hands are in her lap and her face looking down. A diffused light casts a gentle glow over them.
Alina and Sasha
Credit: Simon Lereng Wilmont

Now in its historic 36th season, POV marks its place as America’s longest running non-fiction series with an in-depth look at the lives of children whose world is upended by poverty, addiction and the unfolding war in Ukraine as their caretakers grapple with the everyday struggles to keep them safe.

A House Made of Splinters made its world premiere at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival where it won the best director prize in the World-Cinema Documentary competition. The celebrated film was an Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary Feature Film for the 2023 Oscars® and has continued to be a word-of-mouth success and essential to dialogues around crisis caregiving and the Russian-led invasion of Ukraine.

Filmmaker Simon Lereng Wilmont’s film, a follow up to his 2018 Oscars® shortlisted Best Documentary Feature, The Distant Barking of Dogs, offers a unique look into how the long-term consequences of war on a society already under strain impacts youth. His is a poignant and deeply intimate portrait of a remarkable way station filled with care, support, and trust for a group of fragile children who are in desperate need of more.

A House Made of Splinters explores how the most vulnerable are caught up within institutional bureaucracies, generational traumas and international flexes of power beyond their control and limits of understanding.

A House Made of Splinters Director/Cinematographer Simon Lereng Wilmont said: “A House Made of Splinters is a film about the long term, less visible, but no less devastating consequences that war has had on many of the small communities situated along the pre-24th February 2022 frontline of the war in Eastern Ukraine.

Two girls are holding hands in front of a bright window facing the viewer, both under a sheer white curtain to give them a ghostly quality. They wear matching shoes, one pair in purple, the other, red, and adopt a similar stance. The room features faded pink walls with a brown tile patterned linoleum floor, and the potted green plants are the only contrasting color in the space. One plant has hanging vines, and the other has palm leaves.
Alina and Sasha behind a curtain
Credit: Simon Lereng Wilmont

More than anything else A House Made of Splinters is also a story about love, compassion and hope. This is what powers the dedicated and big hearted caregivers working tirelessly to try and give the children a better future, and what makes these incredible children still want to reach out and dare to try and form close human connections despite the tragic circumstances of the broken families that they come from. These kids are a big part of Ukraine’s future, and with everything that has been going on since Russia launched its full scale war on Ukraine last year, I am very grateful to be able to share this truly universal and highly relevant story on POV/PBS with American audiences.”

“Wartime experiences that contribute to the loss of childhood innocence are not part of an abstract history, but an everyday reality for many young lives. This timely film illuminates the fragility of social systems in a country in crisis. Simon captures the impact on the children caught in this web with honesty, sensitivity and moments of hope,” said POV executive producer Chris White.

A House Made of Splinters is a Final Cut for Real and American Documentary | POV co-production in association with Giant Pictures. Simon Lereng Wilmont is the director. The producer is Monica Hellström. Executive Producers are Signe Byrge Sørensen, Erika Dilday and Chris White for American Documentary | POV for American Documentary | POV.