The house in “Acasa, My House” is a wild, marshy expanse on the outskirts of Bucharest, an deserted reservoir populated primarily by birds, fish and bugs. In the beginning of this documentary, directed by Radu Ciorniciuc, the one human residents are Gica Enache, his spouse, Niculina, and their 9 kids. Surrounded by chickens, hogs, pigeons and canines, they reside in proud, often belligerent defiance of “civilization,” a phrase Gica utters with disdain.
The kids run by the reeds, catch fish with their naked arms, wrestle with swans and carry out family chores. The scene isn’t solely pastoral, although, and Gica isn’t precisely Henry David Thoreau. He’s a moody patriarch, half anarchist and half autocrat, shielding his household from the facility of the state together with his personal typically tyrannical authority. When he’s confronted by social staff, the police and different officers, he’s not all the time diplomatic. At one level, he threatens to set himself on hearth. “These are my kids, and I can kill them if I need” may not be the perfect factor to say to baby welfare officers.
Filmed over 4 years, “Acasa” tells the sophisticated, bittersweet story of Gica’s defeat. When the Romanian authorities designates the world as a protected nature park — reportedly the biggest in a significant European metropolis — the Enaches are compelled out. They dismantle their home, a sprawling construction manufactured from blankets and plastic sheeting draped over a makeshift wood body, and transfer into an house. The kids, supplied with haircuts, footwear and new garments, attend faculty usually for the primary time. The oldest son, Vali, finds a girlfriend and asserts a measure of independence from his father.
Does this signify progress or disaster? For Gica, the reply is evident: All the pieces he values has been taken away. However whereas Ciorniciuc views him with evident sympathy and respect, “Acasa” isn’t an uncritical or romantic story of paradise misplaced. You may see the park directors, authorities ministers and municipal bureaucrats by Gica’s eyes — as smiling, condescending brokers of a power that disturbs his peace and threatens his identification. You may as well see him from their perspective, as a person subjecting his household to harmful and unsanitary situations who must be protected against his personal impulses.
The movie will not be static. It’s dialectical — establishing its narrative as an argument between two opposed positions, neither of which is absolutely embraced. There’s a the Aristocracy to Niculina and Gica as they struggle to withstand the facility of a state satisfied of its personal benevolence. And the actions of the state aren’t solely unreasonable. It’s not so simple as taking the facet of individualism towards authorities, or for that matter of being in favor of parks, colleges and a good social order.
That’s all pretty summary, however “Acasa” is filled with concepts as a result of it accommodates a lot life. It’s each intimate and analytical, a delicate portrait of actual folks present process monumental change and a meditation on what that change may imply. It faucets into one thing primal within the human situation, a primary battle between the will for freedom and the tendency towards group — an argument, lastly, in regards to the that means of house.
Acasa, My House
Not rated. In Romanian, with subtitles. Operating time: 1 hour 26 minutes. In theaters and on Kino Marquee. Please seek the advice of the rules outlined by the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention earlier than watching films inside theaters.