Children Underground (2001)
My gut reaction to this documentary was strong. I wanted to make this posting funny and witty and funny. But, I can’t seem to do it.
This oscar nominated piece of work takes place in Romania. The doc follows 5 – homeless – drug addicted – and uneducated children through 2 years of their brutally tough lives.
This traditionally shot documentary was extremely real and horribly upsetting. The children are dirty, and vulgar. I was amazed by the life moments that the filmmaker was able to capture. I couldn’t help but notice that the female street dwelling children strongly resembled men. They wore manly clothing and sported traditionally male haircuts.
Two things stick out to me as shocking to watch.
1. Children beating up other children.
2. Children all getting high on paint thinner AKA Aurolac. (Want to learn more ? http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=aurolac )
I fell in love with one child who – despite being the “runt” of the group was determined to get an education and hold onto hope. I so wanted to reach through the TV and help that particular child out. His emotions were raw and he was wise beyond his 10 years.
In fact – due to the gritty nature of the content- I almost didn’t notice the slight continuity issues or seemly random switches between color and black and white photography. Super critical Becky can’t help but wish for a little more character development in the first 40 minutes and a little less random montage of children on the street. On the other hand – I do hold a special place in my heart for highly successful low budget docs.
For the doc’s honesty and ability to sober up a room I give it –
4 out of 5 Cheers