Monday, Jun 2023
When a child steals candles from a cemetery in order to provide some illumination means for his family sheltered into a damp basement of a block of flats, this circumstance says a lot about the sufferance imposed by the post communist Romania. This child is one of the seven that Maria has got. She is a 33 year old  woman, whose unemployed and drunkard husband (Ion) started to act violently due to his desperate lack of prospective. Like many others, Maria and Ion used to love each other once. But now, their seventh child is about to be born in darkness, pain and fights while Maria tries to unsuccessfully find a job.The few money that she has are brutally snatched from her by her loser husband. Battered and cursed by an alcohol brutified Ion who eventually ends up in prison, Maria is trying to simply survive.

After she is proposed to sell her new born child, Maria finds no option but to become a prostitute but she would rather sell herself than her baby.

The experiences she undertakes meanwhile are just shocking: from merciless men who exploit her body like a heartless piece of meat, to a Turkish driver that understands her drama and helps her. Unfortunately but unsurprisingly, Maria ends up in prison where she honestly spills her heart out, revealing a real life drama which manages to impress policemen and local authorities alike. Thus Maria becomes a real case. Her story becomes public and is widely broadcasted by a TV station. Through that film, the local city mayor finds out Maria's story and decides to help her. However, a car will come to take her to the City Hall, where she is supposed to receive the keys from her new apartment. Ion watches the TV news and comes back home. Maria is happy, but ... nothing is as simple as it seems.  A film that might not be necessarily based on a true life's story but nevertheless true to the core.  A touching story about sacrifice, love and survival beautifully delivered by the talented Diana Dumbrava.

How far would Maria go to save her family? How low would she go before she starts rising again? A movie with 11 awards and 4 nominations.

Festivals :

2003 - Locarno :

• Leopard for Best Actress and for Best Actor;
• Special Prize of the Jury;
• Diploma for Best film ;
• Young Jury

2004 - Setubal

• Special Prize of the Jury;

2003 - Tubingen-Stuttgard

• Best Film

2003 - Cottbus

• Don Quixote Prize for Debut

2003 - EFA

• Nomination for Best European Actress

2003 - Montreal
2004 - Cairo
2003 - Sarajevo
2003 - Pusan
2003 - Chicago
2004 - Istanbul
2004 - Warsaw IFF
Crew :
Directed by: Calin Peter Netzer    
Script: Gordan Mimic, Calin Peter Netzer    
Produced by: Cornelia Palos, Karl Baumgartner, Pierre-Alain Meier, Adrian Popovici
Original Music by: Petru Margineanu   
Cinematography by: Mihail Sarbusca
Film Editing by: Melania Oproiu
Cast :  
Diana Dumbrava ...  Maria
Horatiu Malaele ...  Milco
Serban Ionescu ...  Ion
Luminita Gheorghiu ...  Maia
Ana Ularu ...  Ioana
Rona Hartner ...  Nuti
Ionut Brutaru   
Florin Calinescu
Magda Catone   
Marinela Chelaru
Eduard Paliu   
Florin Zamfirescu
Foto galery :  
Trailer :  
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