Acasă, My Home (2021)—Romania
This documentary film by Radu Ciorniciuc debuted at the Sundance festival and has won two dozen awards for tackling a difficult subject with an unlikeable protagonist — should people be forced to conform to society's standards, or should they be allowed to live freely as they wish, however objectionable their lifestyle might seem? On the outskirts of Bucharest (population 2 million), Gica Enache and his wife have lived for eighteen years with their nine children. "I moved here because I hated this wicked civilization," Gica fumes. "I'm free here." Their "home" is a filthy hovel. The kids cannot read or write. Animals roam in and out of their tent-like hut — pigs, pigeons, chickens, geese, dogs, and cats. They cook over open fires. This is no romanticized Walden's Pond. Trouble brews when the social services visit their place because of child endangerment: "Madam, we're here to help you find a solution." In addition, the city is bulldozing their place in order to turn it into an "Urban Biodiversity Trail." Finally, and unspoken here, is that this is a Roma or gypsy family (unrelated to Romanians or Romans), a nomadic ethnic minority that is routinely scorned in Europe for their unorthodox way of life. But what happens when Gica's family is "helped" by removing them to the "civilization" of the city? On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 100% approval rating. I watched Acasa on Amazon Streaming.
Dan Clendenin: firstname.lastname@example.org