Friday, April 4, 2008

Children Underground

Not to forever instill a dwindling distillation of hope, but I just finished watching a documentary called Children Underground which apparently is on youtube and it further solidifies my view of Romanian cinema as the black hole on which humanity rests on. The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, guising itself as a black comedy that painstakingly details the flaws of the Romanian healthcare system through its negligence of a dying old widow, inadvertently blacks out sun blots faster than any Bergman monologue on existentialism could aim for. All without any discussion of it, just a naturalistic following through of peripheral snippets from the lives that continue around the central subject, itself becoming a peripheral snippet as the time wears on. 4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days takes on totalitarianism and classism without ever mentioning any of them, and it's stark portrayal of abortion without hypnotic moral compass dangling again just lays it out.
Children Underground perfectly rounds out 4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days in that it shows the lives of five out of countless children who abandoned their homes and orphanages out of desperation, something the filmmaker links directly to Ceascescu's ban of contraceptives in order to build up the workforce. They band up but squander in increasing desolation out out in the streets. In eschewing documentary narrative techniques and following the kids around their daily wares through their makeshift bucharest subway home or various institutions that for a glimmering blip offer them a way out before, in what feels like logical inevitability, fading out like a dead star, they become more fleshed out than sound bites in an evening news clip, the filmmaker's intent. Any ways, the film itself does more talking via silent immersion than anything in my dumbfounded post viewing analysis.