SOCIETY: On the outskirts of Bucharest, a family lives in harmony with nature until forced to adapt to big city life.
Margareta Hruza
Hruza is a Czech/Norwegian filmmaker and a regular film critic at Modern Times Review.
Published date: March 1, 2020

On the outskirts of Bucharest, there was once a romantic neighborhood called Văcărești with cobblestones roads and quaint little houses with small kitchen gardens. During the 1970s, the area was bulldozed as part of the brutal communist urban planning programme. A huge field was dug up in order to create a reservoir that was supposed to provide water for an enormous housing project that was never, leaving this vast area abandoned for decades. Through time and paradoxically, through the luck of being a country with economic upheavals, developers were discouraged from investing in this landscape, creating a unique opportunity for nature. Without any human intervention or planning, nature itself created a green oasis that stands in contrast to the highways and skyscrapers surrounding it. What used to be a gigantic mud hole in the middle of a concrete landscape has turned into one of Romania’s richest biodiverse ecosystems – a true sanctuary for 100 different bird species, and for Mr. Gică and his family who settled here 18 years ago.

Acasa, My Home-Romania-documentary-post1
Acasa, My Home, a film by Radu Ciorniciuc

Mr. Gică & family

Mr. Gică, a chief, a drunken father, and a self-appointed park ranger, is not just any ordinary Rom. He is educated and had a decent job as a laboratory assistant. At some point in his life, he made a conscious choice to leave the civilized world, which he refers to as the «wicked world», bringing his young wife to this land where he fathered nine children. Acasa, My Home is a film that observes this family over four years.

The film is beautifully cinematographed following this flock of children through each season. The story begins with summer, a season full of play and laughter. The children and the animals roam around, fetching food and playing all day long. Only when the child welfare agency shows up do the children flee into the fields.

Without any human intervention or planning, nature itself created a green oasis …

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