Coming to theatres tomorrow, Friday, October 10: WAITING FOR AUGUST
Teodora Ana Mihai’s appealing observational portrait of a Romanian teen left alone to care for her siblings debuted at Visions du Réel this Spring. Its festival circuit has included Hot Docs, Karlovy Vary, Dokufest Kosovo, Moscow, Camden, Bergen, Vancouver, DMZ Docs, and the upcoming IDFA and BFI London fests, among several others.
Out of economic necessity, unemployed Romanian parents like Liliana see little choice but to seek job opportunities in wealthier European countries like Italy, often leaving their children behind for months on end. While grandparents or other relatives often act as guardians, in the Halmac family’s case, that responsibility falls on fifteen-year-old Georgina, the eldest daughter of seven children. While still little more than a child herself, the intrepid teen takes on the role of surrogate mother and head of household, all while tending to her own schoolwork and interpersonal drama, and fending off threats from neighbors to report the family to the authorities. As Georgina waits for her mother’s return, sneaking parenting advice from Liliana through the occasional phone call or Skype session, Mihai’s fluid camera captures their begrudgingly accepted reality, forced to be separated, at the poignant cost of Liliana’s time with her kids, and Georgina’s experience of her own childhood.