Otilia Babara
Belgium, Netherlands, France, Moldova | 2022 | 73 min
Swiss Premiere
Language : Romanian
Subtitles : English, French

Through a montage of Moldovan family films, Otilia Babara shows the relationship between mothers — who left home to find work after the fall of the Soviet Union — and their children. To keep in touch, the children record video messages, playfully talking to the camera, returning its gaze. Emotion and history intertwine in this eminently political tale.

In the early 1990s, many women left Moldova to provide for their families. Unable to return home, they found a special way to stay in touch with their loved ones: by sending large cardboard boxes filled with gifts and food of which they could only dream at the time. In return, their children sent them video tapes. This exchange became a ritual for thousands of families. The video cameras and gifts allowed these mothers and children to share glimpses of their reality while being separated. But behind these gifts, there also lies the inability to put emotions into words, when life confronts you with the indescribable pain of separation... Through these private and intimate archives, director Otilia Babara depicts the fragility of family ties through the eyes of a generation of mothers and daughters who were forced to live apart to survive. In doing so, she paints the picture of a post-Soviet country at a crossroads. A country whose women were unknowingly made responsible for ensuring the transition from communism to capitalism. Emotion and history intertwine in this eminently political account.

Charlotte Serrand

Love is Not an Orange, 2022
Women on Canvas, 2009 
Irene, 2015 


Mark Glynne
Pierpaolo Filomeno
Hanne Phlypo
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