Image for The Dark Matter of LoveNot currently available on BBC iPlayer

Duration: 1 hour

Can love be learned? That is one question at the heart of this complex story of Masha, an 11-year-old Russian girl learning to love her adoptive American family - through science.

Former Disney employees Claudio and Cheryl Diaz live in a Wisconsin suburb with their biological daughter Cami. Masha isn't the only Russian child joining the Diaz family - they are also adopting twin five-year-old boys Marcel and Vadim. Nothing can prepare the Diaz's for what is to come.

When the reality of bonding with children who have grown up in institutions hits, the Diazes turn to Dr Robert Marvin, a developmental psychologist who has spent a lifetime creating a program that draws on the past 100 years of scientific discoveries into love. His framework draws on experiments on monkeys, birds and human children. Rare footage of these extraordinary experiments is woven through the story of Masha, Marcel and Vadim learning to love for the very first time.

Director Sarah McCarthy follows the Diaz family for the first year of their new family dynamic. The ability of both parents and children to adapt over a year is extraordinary to witness in compressed time. They are a testament to the mix of perseverance, improvisation and blind faith required for parenting.

The Dark Matter of Love shows we all have a lot to learn.

Last on

Wed 30 Oct 2013 22:00 BBC Four


Sarah McCarthy
Grace Hughes-Hallett
Sarah McCarthy
Sarah McCarthy


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss