Awarded the main prize (10.000 Euro) at DOK.fest Munich in 2020. See more »
the Delta of the Bucharest
"Acasa" or "My Home" as translated in the title of Radu Ciorniciuc's documentary is a very special film that accompanies for four years a social program related to an unusual family. Gelu Enache and his wife had settled with their nine children in the the area, closed and abandoned area for over two decades, of the Vacaresti Park, also called the Bucharest Delta. In the park where nature had gradually regained its rights by creating a unique natural ecosystem within the metropolis populated by over two million inhabitants, the Enache family lived outside urban civilization, in harmony with nature, but without social, health or education services for their children. When the Vacaresti Park came to the attention of the authorities, the family was displaced and became the subject of social assistance - a traumatic change for adults and children who had not known another way of life, but also a potential chance for future social integration. "Acasa" is an involved documentary and a documentary about involvement.
Radu Ciorniciuc, who is an investigative journalist, worked with the assistance programs, but at the same time managed to gain the trust of the family, which made him a participant and allowed him to accompany and document in the film the transformations and crises they went through. Implicitly, important topics such as ecology, urban progress and their impact on people's lives are addressed. His cinematic style combines well-filmed reporting (the urban landscape take filmed from a drone that locates the park and its surroundings is memorable) with social investigation. Humor is not missing like in the scenes where we witness the visits of Prince Charles or of the then Prime Minister in the park, but it looks like what primarily characterizes Ciorniciuc's film is empathy for the destinies of the film's heroes. It is remarkable how he managed to gain their trust and make from purely documentary materials a more coherent narrative and a more exciting film than many fiction feature films.
The ecological implications are not lacking, although they are not the main theme of the film. For many inhabitants of Bucharest, the existence of an original ecosystem so close to the center of the Romanian capital was a surprise. Its introduction in the tourist circuit was traumatic not only for the Enache family but for the whole natural environment, and the success of this urban integration will be appreciated only over the years, if the fauna and flora of the area will be protected from the influences of the metropolis and of its inhabitants. Issues related to racial discrimination and the methods of integration as a solution to eliminate social disabilities are not ignored, but they are not the focus. The Romanian audiences probably know most of the issues, the international public might miss many nuances.
"Acasa" is a powerful film whose impact is mainly due to the sincerity, empathy and lack of prejudice with which the problems of social and personal integration of the Enache family are addressed. It would be interesting to follow the evolution of the heroes over the years. Director Radu Ciorniciuc did not deny in the discussion - webinar that was occasioned by the film at the DOCAVIV festival a possible continuation. To follow, like any other creations coming from this interesting Romanian journalist and film director.
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