ACASA, MY HOME
ROMANIA 86 MIN, 2020
In the wilderness of the Bucharest Delta, an abandoned water reservoir just outside the bustling metropolis, the Enache family lived in perfect harmony with nature for two decades, sleeping in a hut on the lakeshore, catching fish barehanded, and following the rhythm of the seasons. When this area is transformed into a public national park, they are forced to leave behind their unconventional life and move to the city, where fishing rods are replaced by smartphones and idle afternoons are now spent in classrooms.
As the family struggles to conform to modern civilization and maintain their connection to each other and themselves, they each begin to question their place in the world and what their future might be. With their roots in the wilderness, the nine children and their parents struggle to find a way to keep their family united in the concrete jungle.
With an empathetic and cinematic eye, filmmaker Radu Ciorniciuc offers viewers, in his feature debut, a compelling tale of an impoverished family living on the fringes of society in Romania, fighting for acceptance and their own version of freedom.
In 2012, Radu co-founded the first independent media organisation in Romania - Casa Jurnalistului, a community of reporters specialized in in-depth, long-form and multimedia reporting. Since then, he has been working as a long-form writer and undercover investigative reporter. His researches are focused on human rights, animal welfare and environmental issues across the globe. His investigative and reporting work was published on most of the major international media organizations in the world - Channel 4 News, The Guardian, Al Jazeera, etc. - and received national and international awards. His journalistic work was acknowledged by Royal Television Society UK (2014), Amnesty International UK (2014), Harold Wincott Awards for Business, Economic and Financial Journalism (2016), and by other international and national prestigious institutions.
The harmonious bond with nature and the difficulties of the Enache’s wild lifestyle dictated the social dynamics inside the family. The bond between the members was not only forged by love, but also by their will to stay alive. Only by working and being together could the family survive in that harsh environment. This was their shield against the dangers coming from inside and outside the Delta.
But independence is a core value of how our society sees the social integration process. Very soon after moving in the city, the family members learned that the opportunities of having a comfortable life can only be reached by becoming independent. Living or working together was not an option anymore especially for the family’s youngsters. They had lesser difficulties than their parents to adapt to the new reality and were more willing to succeed as integrated citizens.
The film is built around one family’s drama and, keeping the proportions, around one of modern man’s biggest dilemmas: to go back to nature, where life is free but harsh without the benefits of civilization? Or to be part of a society that offers opportunities of a comfortable life, but only to those who are willing to embrace the pressures that come with comfort?
The most important aspect of my approach for shooting this film was to build trust with the Enache’s. The last three years I’ve spent with them gave me intimate access to the family. This was crucial for creating, inside the film, the feeling of being a close family member - something that I want the audience to experience as well: the experience of an assimilated witness to an initiating journey - without making the family look vulnerable, but equal human beings passing through a complicated period of their lives.
In order to create this feeling of familiarity and home, the camera is always shooting at the eye level of the characters and at close distances, especially when highly emotional events are taking place.
In the first two parts of the film, where most of the action is taking place in the wilderness, the shootings are done hand held, but the camera movements are slow and steady, creating a feeling of being grounded in the natural environment.
When the family moves into the city, the key scenes are shot on a tripod, and the compositions become more linear, in order to illustrate the rigors and formalities of life in civilization.
- Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival
- DOK.fest München
- Krakow Film Festival
- Vilnius Film Festival
DOKer 2020 — Main Competition