7:00 PM, 20th September, 2014
Question: why would a distributor take the financial risk to try to sell a Romanian film to the Australian public? Answer: this is a very good film. Submitted by Romania for consideration for this year’s Best Foreign Language Film Oscar – it wasn’t nominated but has won many other awards.
Barbu, the 30-something spoilt son of a powerful, wealthy family is facing manslaughter charges after he kills the young son of a poor family in a car accident. Barbu’s mother Cornelia is used to getting what she wants. She is prepared to do what it takes – use connections, bully or bribe to get Barbu off. I found this very interesting because I couldn’t help comparing what happens in Romania with what might happen here in Australia. Cornelia and Barbu are only concerned about the potential consequences for them and it is fascinating to see their total disregard of the feelings of other people. Will they eventually come to understand?
It is a powerful film, very well directed and brilliantly performed by an excellent cast. It is all very realistic and believable. Is there more corruption in Romania than here? Is there a greater gap between the haves and the have nots? A film to get you thinking on many levels.
9:02 PM, 20th September, 2014
Set in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi in 1992, friends Eka and Natia look to leave childhood behind as they ignore societal customs and work to escape the turbulence of their everyday lives at home, school and on the streets. The war is not forefront in this film but rather creates a backdrop for the main story, however this doesn’t make the movie any less dramatic. Physical and sexual harassment, bullying, civil war, poverty, survival, struggle, depression and just trying to make it to the next day while trying to keep your values and integrity are constant pressures.
Some scenes in the film are quite confronting, as are the experiences they depict, so be warned that you are not going along to a Hollywood-type drama about living in suburbia. This film makes you think, particularly when you realise that the struggles these girls, their mothers and their grandmothers have fought are not necessarily over, either in Georgia or elsewhere.
In Bloom is a must-see movie about Georgia’s recent past. It is beautifully shot, with what feels like a lot of attention to detail. None of the child actors are professionals but they were all fantastic – real and relatable. Overall it was a brilliant effort, which deserves to be recognised.