Virtual Cinema | The Lyrical and Provocative New Documentary “Acasă, My Home” January 2, 2021
Through their access and dedication, documentary filmmakers take viewers on a journey to experience new people and places. Especially now, when many of us are not moving beyond our small circles, these cinematic opportunities to transcend the everyday are even more welcome and important. Acasă, My Home, the feature documentary debut of Radu Ciorniciuc, succeeds spectacularly in this regard.
Telling the Story of a Family
Shot in and around the Bucharest Delta of Romania, Acasă, My Home introduces audiences to the Enache family: father, mother, and their nine children, who live on the banks of the wetlands. The film follows the Enaches as they move from their self-built home to the city through a forced government resettlement process. Special attention is paid to the coming-of-age story of the oldest son, Vail, as he struggles to define himself as an adult moving between the fringes of society and the mainstream.
Watching as Life Unfolds
Acasă, My Home is an almost purely observational documentary—no narrator telling viewers what to think, no voice-overs, no analysis. We are just present with the family as life unfolds. Ciorniciuc’s commitment to this long-term project gives audiences access to a deeply personal tale of family life and transformation.
Transporting the Audience
The film poses important questions about urban development projects and disenfranchisement, even touching on themes of race, class, and nationality through the trials of one family. It’s no surprise that Acasă, My Home won the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Cinematography at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival: The close-up and patient camera work lend a special intimacy to the viewing experience. The empathetic and captivating cinematography of this fascinating and immersive documentary will transport you from Houston directly to Romania, without the risk of travel.
About the Author
Tish Stringer is a visual anthropologist and the film exhibition and production program manager in the department of visual and dramatic arts at Rice University.
Underwriting for the Film Department is provided by Tenaris and the Vaughn Foundation. Generous funding is provided by Nina and Michael Zilkha; The Consulate General of the Republic of Korea; Franci Neely; Carrin Patman and Jim Derrick; Lois Chiles Foundation; ILEX Foundation; L’Alliance Française de Houston; and The Foundation for Independent Media Arts.