Risking her life under Russian occupation to save her cultural heritage a prisoner embroiders religious icons by the light of the northern latitudes in the harshest of harsh Russian gulags.

Bone and Thread: The Clandestine Survival of Paraskevia Michniak a work in progress, is a short film, approximately 30 minutes, that focuses on Ukrainian artist Ola Rondiak as she weaves the history of 4 generations of maternal history into her art. The film is centered on the story of her maternal grandmother, Paraskevia Michniak who was sentenced to 25 years of hard labor at the Women’s Strict Regime Prison in Mordovia, Russia during World War II.  While imprisoned, Michniak, at great personal risk to her life, began embroidering religious icons at night by the light of the northern latitudes. She used cloth and threads from her clothes and fish bones for needles. 


The film weaves past events into the current Russian invasion of Ukraine.  Rondiak said: “When women are denied a pen and voice, it’s needles that have proven their faithful servitude as a vehicle for women’s personal and political expression. It was these icons that kept her spirit alive during the hard years in the gulag.”


The film will end in present day Ukraine where women on the front lines are fighting for the freedoms that Paraskevia Michniak strove to preserve through her decades of perseverance and sacrifice.

An important note abut your support: Bone & Thread will have a near total Ukrainian crew. Your donation will help support out of work Ukrainian filmmakers and artists.