Synopsis (One World Festival):
Before turning fifteen, Georgiana has already taken on the role of mother, caretaker and guardian to her six brothers and sisters with whom she shares a flat on the outskirts of Bacau. Their mother works in Italy, where many Romanians feel they can make more to provide for their offspring, and only comes back every August. Until then, she Skypes from Italy, contributes advice in case of crisis, and sends Easter gifts, while Georgiana plays the role of the mother and tries to cope with homework and high school entrance exam preparation.
The premise of Teodora Ana Mihai’s film is not particularly optimistic, but her perceptive, sometimes painfully intimate fly-on the-wall technique plays a crucial role in turning the somehow familiar story of the children left to fend for themselves into a remarkable debut in documentary filmmaking. Mihai captures with sensitivity the combination of courage and ingenuity put by Georgiana in the management of her daily chores, as well as the domestic minutiae of a household where the TV is always on, the boys are hooked on video-games, and yet Georgiana and a younger sister seem to keep everything going – in spite of having a 17-year old brother who could have taken the pressures of adulthood off his siblings: a revealing detail which points to the gendered distribution of work in this and in many other Romanian households.