Radu Ciorniciuc follows a Romanian family forced to leave their self-sufficient life off the grid for the city.
World Cinema Documentary Competition
Sundance Program Description:
For two decades, the Enache family – nine kids and their parents – lived in a shack in the wilderness of Bucharest Delta: an abandoned water reservoir, one of the biggest urban natural reservations in the world, with lakes and hundreds of species of animals and rare plants. When the authorities decide to claim back this rare urban ecosystem, the Enache family is evicted and told to resettle in the city – a reality they know nothing about. Kids that used to spend their days in nature have to learn about city life, go to school instead of swimming in the lake, and swap their fishing rods for mobile phones. Their identity has been questioned and transformed, along with their sense of freedom and family ties.
Radu Ciorniciuc’s heartbreaking debut is a thoughtful study of gentrification, seen through the eyes of a family trying to adapt to the new life they never asked for. Is it better to go back to their “paradise lost,” with its life free yet harsh, or to become part of the society that offers comforts but comes with pressures and conflict?
Ciorniciuc is an investigative journalist focused on human rights, animals, and the environment, and is the co-founder of Casa Jurnalistului, Romania’s first independent media organization. He also serves as a directors of photography for this, his film debut.
Past Sundance docs:
CHUCK NORRIS VS COMMUNISM (2015)
Lazurean-Gorgan most recently produced the Berlinale-winning hybrid TOUCH ME NOT.
Past Sundance docs:
CHUCK NORRIS VS COMMUNISM
Kastelicová is the executive producer of documentaries for HBO Europe. She also produced fellow 2020 Sundance documentary feature COLLECTIVE, in the Spotlight section. Kastelicová’s previous projects include the Oscar shortlisted documentary feature COMMUNION.
David is a production executive for HBO Romania. This is her first Sundance credit.
Uludag is a creative producer and partner of Germany’s Corso Film. This is his first Sundance project.
Matikainen is the CEO of Helsinki’s Kinocompany. This is also his first Sundance credit.
Vdovîi is a Moldovan-born journalist based in Romania. This is her first film project.
This is Gorgan’s first Sundance project. He has directed and edited other films with Monica Lazurean-Gorgan.
Why You Should Watch:
Through exceptional observational filmmaking, first-time filmmaker Radu Ciorniciuc creates an instantaneous connection between the Enache family and the audience. Immersing viewers in their beloved, if unconventional, world, and following their culture shock as they attempt to adapt to a new reality, the film reveals the human cost of development.
For Sundance screening dates and times, click the film title in the first paragraph.