MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 1,827 this week

Children Underground (2001)

8.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.3/10 from 1,766 users   Metascore: 85/100
Reviews: 20 user | 16 critic | 7 from Metacritic.com

A profile of homeless Romanian children who were born victims of the nation's reckless population growth policy during its communist era.

Director:

0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Amazon Instant Video

IMDb Picks: May

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in May, sponsored by COVERGIRL.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 49 titles
created 23 Oct 2011
 
a list of 43 titles
created 30 Oct 2011
 
a list of 31 titles
created 12 Feb 2013
 
list image
a list of 38 titles
created 6 months ago
 
a list of 37 titles
created 4 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Children Underground (2001)

Children Underground (2001) on IMDb 8.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Children Underground.
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Documentary following Susan Tom of Fairfield, California and her 11 adopted special needs children.

Director: Jonathan Karsh
Stars: Susan Tom, Anthony Tom, Faith Tom
Dark Days (2000)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A cinematic portrait of the homeless population who live permanently in the underground tunnels of New York City.

Director: Marc Singer
Stars: Marc Singer
Until When (2004)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Set during the current Intifada, this documentary follows four Palestinian families living in Dheisheh Refugee Camp near Bethlehem. Fadi is 13 and cares for his 4 younger brothers, the ... See full summary »

Director: Dahna Abourahme
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Filmed in Nepal and India this documentary presents the stories of young girls whose lives have been shattered by the child sex slave trade. The film provides actual footage from inside the... See full summary »

Director: Andrew Levine
Stars: Anuradha Koirala, Tim Robbins, Winona Ryder
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

This documentary follows a Mississippi Delta school district and a single Delta family as they struggle against the crippling effects of poverty in the wake of more than one hundred years of slavery.

Directors: Deborah Dickson, Susan Froemke, and 1 more credit »
Stars: LaLee Wallace, Reggie Barnes
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

This documentary tells four stories of Apartheid in South Africa, as seen through the eyes of the Truth and Reconciliation commission. White soldiers who have killed ANC activists, black ... See full summary »

Directors: Deborah Hoffmann, Frances Reid
Stars: Mary Burton, Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, Mongezi Manqina
Dope Sick Love (TV Movie 2005)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

When you're a junkie, the money comes and goes--and so does the high. Do relationships stand a chance among addicts? Meet Matt & Tracy and Sebastian & Michelle--two New York City couples ... See full summary »

Directors: Felice Conte, Brent Renaud, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Matt, Michelle, Sebastian
Acné (2008)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

At the age of 13, Rafael Bregman has already lost his virginity, but has never kissed a girl. With his pimple-riddled face, his dysfunctional family, and a lowered self-esteem, getting this... See full summary »

Director: Federico Veiroj
Stars: Alejandro Tocar, Ana Julia Catalá, Gustavo Melnik
Documentary | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Boy Interrupted looks at the life of Evan Perry a 15-year-old boy from New York who committed suicide in 2005. The film made by his parents Dana and Hart examines how Evan's bipolar ... See full summary »

Director: Dana Heinz Perry
Stars: Evan Scott Perry, Dana Heinz Perry, Hart Perry
Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

About the life and adventures of a gang of abandoned street kids known as "Capitães da Areia" (Captains of the Sands), in Salvador, Bahia, during the 1950s.

Directors: Cecília Amado, Guy Gonçalves
Stars: Jean Luis Amorim, Ana Graciela, Roberio Lima
Short | Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

AIDS, drug abuse, police brutality, and other social ills in post-Soviet Russia.

Directors: Andrzej Celinski, Hanna Polak
Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Director: Philippe Ramos
Stars: Denis Lavant, Virgil Leclaire, Dominique Blanc
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Cristina Ionescu ...
Herself
Mihai Alexandre Tudose ...
Himself
Violeta 'Macarena' Rosu ...
Herself
Ana Turturica ...
Herself
Marian Turturica ...
Himself
Alexandru Beschina ...
Himself
Florin Ionut Calciu ...
Himself
Adrian Chiru ...
Himself
Romulus Cristescu ...
Himself
Ilie Fonfonile ...
Himself
Doru Grigore ...
Herself
Anca Hotnog ...
Herself
Claudia Luca ...
Herself
Angela Preda ...
Herself
Adrian Susanu ...
Himself
Edit

Storyline

One of the most astonishing and engaging cinematic works of the past decade, CHILDREN UNDERGROUND is a profoundly intimate and heart-wrenching drama about homeless children struggling for survival on the streets and in the subways of Bucharest, Romania. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 October 2003 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Asphaltkinder in Bukarest  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Heartbreaking. (spoilers)
6 May 2006 | by (Orlando, Florida) – See all my reviews

I had often wondered why, in the documentary portrayal's of street kids, 'Streetwise' was the one to garner all of the attention. Granted, it too, was a heartbreaking look at some kids affected by some pretty tumultuous times in this country thanks to many idiot policymakers euphemistic ideas about trickle-down economies. Sad as it is to say, I think the appeal comes from 80s nostalgia, and particularly nostalgia for the 80s American teenager. 'Children Underground,' which follows five children living in a subway station in Romania is much more disturbing and stark portrayal than Streetwise. As the prologue explains, many children found themselves on the street because, after the fall of Communism in Romania, the economy and state facilities in particular were effected and became ill-equipped to deal with hardships. Although, some of the kids portrayed in this documentary left home as a result of family problems.

Of the five children are Cristina Ionescu (16) is the oldest and I suppose the protectorate of the group of subway children. Although, she never seems to be too sincere in this role, beating the younger ones herself sometimes. Her background involves shifts between state custody in an orphanage and later an asylum because, as she said, she refused to let herself be beaten or taken advantage of and fought back.

Mihai Tudose was probably the most interesting among the street children; a 12 year-old boy who ran away from home because, as he explains, his father beat him. He always seemed to be in search of something better than the street life, but it just didn't seem that many were able to help him out. For example, we see him attending the school for street children, but when the social workers went home to get the papers that would enable his attendance, his parents wouldn't give them up. He was, just as the synopsis for the film says, a particularly intelligent boy. He just seemed to want to give up life in the subway in exchange even for the company of a pseudo-family (the homeless mother and the baby living in the abandoned building).

Macarena Rosu (14) was perhaps the saddest case because she basically spends the entire film huffing paint with other street kids. And, to the point that by the end, it seems that she has become either schizophrenic or manic depressant as a result, rationalizing her existence with the imaginary mother and father living outside of Bucharest and the twin sister by the same name attending private school, even though we know her to have arrived on the streets straight from an orphanage.

Ana and Marian Turturica are the youngest of the group. They never really get the full story as to why Ana (10) kept running away from home or why she eventually got her brother, Marian (8) to come with her. I would suspect, based on the stepfather's conversation, that it was because she at least did not get along with him. Or, that they felt incapable of living with their mother while she and the stepfather were unemployed and barely surviving themselves.

There doesn't seem to be much that could be done through the state to help these children. The hospital for street kids, for example, had no place to house the children. There were other facilities that were so limited on beds that the children first had to be deemed capable of rehabilitation, which basically meant that, since these children were hoooked on huffing paint, it wasn't likely that they would be admitted. And the older ones, it seemed, stood no chance of consideration at all.

I think in part that this movie was more stark than Streetwise is because so many of the children weren't yet even teenagers when the movie was filmed. And few of them seem to be living in any sort of euphoric sense of freedom. The situation is bad and they appear to well aware that for many of them, they're trapped in it. (Although, that is not to make light of the situations faced by the kids in Streetwise). It is, as other said, a hard to film to take in. There are scenes in the film where you wish the filmmakers, if no one else, would intervene. Especially in the moments where the youngest are beat up, where Mihai inflicts mutilation upon himself, of the kids who spend all day with their face in bag full of Aurolac paint, of the underfunded facilitaties that couldn't provide enough assistance, and also of the families who seem just as hopeless as the children. It is indeed an incredible piece of film-making.


29 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Anyone else found it disturbing when Mihai was cutting himself? albertogfive
About the Filmmaker not intervening when Children were beat.. Vjcat
Where are they now? Alice_N_Chains
Ana... kendrataylor
Bucharest 2008 daniel-981
I am very curious..... remybattery
Discuss Children Underground (2001) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page