Balka: 3 Stories (35min)
Directed & Edited By Anya & Leeza Meksin
Produced By Sophie Pinkham
Music by Jeff McSpadden
Sound Design by Cesar Davila-Irizarry
Sound Mix by Ben Arons
The fall of the Soviet Union led to a surge in injecting drug use and skyrocketing rates of HIV spread through shared injecting equipment. BALKA: Three Stories chronicles the lives of women struggling with drug use and HIV in Ukraine. Through the course of the film we meet Zina and Marina – best friends and active drug users about to discover their HIV status; Tanya, a mother of two who has transitioned into substitution treatment but whose husband continues to use drugs; and Galya, a former user who now works as a peer-to-peer outreach worker. Made with the support of the Open Society Institute’s International Harm Reduction Development Program and the Institute of International Education’s Fulbright Program.