Thursday, November 24, 2011

Children Underground (2001) NR - 3 Stars

Based on the true life story of thousands of run away and abandoned children on the Romanian streets of Bucharest. This documentary follows five young children and their dangerous fight for survival. Mihai Tudose - Age 12 and her younger brother Ana - Age 10, Cristina (II) - Age 16, Marian - Age 8 and Macarena - Age 14. These young girls have had to disguise themselves as boys in order to be tough and survive living on the streets.

The Reign of Romanian dictator Nicolei Ceaucescu had outlawed the use of birth control as he wanted his nation's population to grow. He encouraged his people to have more children and with nearly 20,000 homeless and abandoned children surviving on the streets of Bucharest, his plan went extremely wrong. These children must beg, fight, steal and improvise to get a daily meal. Most have turned to sniffing paint as a recreational way to bare the pain.

My biggest complaint of this documentary comes with the reading of sub titles. The are placed against bright areas on the screen making them hard to read. For me, I found myself spending too much time trying to read dialog than identifying with the children's grim future. However, you don't need subtitles to recognize these children are street tough and already know what it takes to survive in a world that doesn't want them.
Award: 2000 - Sundance Film Festival - Special Jury Prize

Director: Edet Belzberg
Producer: Edet Belzberg
I viewed 11/11

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