David Bezmozgis on Natasha and coming of age between cultures

David Bezmozgis has adapted his culturally complex coming of age book, Natasha, into a feature film.

Mark Berman has two lives. His Canadian, teenage life revolves around smoking pot, seeing friends and enjoying a lazy summer. Then there's his home life, conducted in Russian, where he navigates the complexities of his conservative immigrant family.

Mark's separate lives collapse when a female cousin-by-marriage, Natasha, comes over from Moscow.

"They're just different, their mentality is different than what the Bermans are. They're hungrier, they're coming from a place where they had to survive and be canny in a way that the Bermans don't have to be anymore," says author David Bezmozgis on the fundamental difference between the two immigrant families explored in the film.

That notion of people coming from "the same place but different times" is what drives Bezmozgis.

The two time Giller nominee joins Shad to discuss his culturally complex coming of age book Natasha and Other Stories and its adaptation into a feature film. He also delves into the day-to-day hardships of changing homes and the suspicion, even conflict, between waves of immigrants. 

WEB EXTRA | With themes like immigration and assimilation, Natasha seems like a timely film. But it's also a timeless story of star-crossed romance. Watch the trailer below. 


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