Child's Pose (Pozitia Copilului)
Director: Calin Peter Netzer
Cast: Luminita Gheorghiu, Bogdan Dumitrache, Natasa Reab
Winner Golden Bear Berlin International Film Festival 2013 and Telia Film Award, Stockholm International Film Festival 2013
Country of Origin: Romania 2013
Language: Romanian with English subtitles 112 mins
'Gripping, challenging, an intelligent and masterful piece of cinema from the Romanian New Wave.'
Cristian Mungiu's 2007 Palme d'Or winner, '4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days', Cristi Puiu's and 'The Death of Mr Lazarescu' show the strength and quality of the Romanian New Wave. With budget limitations often headlining revisiting Calin Peter Netzer's 'Child's Pose', filmed over 30 days on a minuscule budget that wouldn't buy burgers for a Hollywood star and winner of the Golden Bear at the 2013 Berlinale shows that it can be done.
Wealthy middle class architect Cornelia (Luminita Gheorghiu) is part of the established Bucharest middle classes. Well healed and with connections in the right places her life is devoted to her spoilt and disaffected hypochondriac son Barbu (Bogdan Dumitrache) who lives with his girlfriend Olga (Natasa Raab) and her child from a previous relationship. To a possessive and besotted mother any problems in Barbu's life are Olga's fault - she doesn't meet Cornelia's standards. Life carries on as normal with an overbearing mother and girlfriend both fighting for Barbu's affections until a nightmare scenario looms - in a moment of road rage Barbu runs over and kills a 14 year old boy.
The survival instincts of the wealthy elite kick in. Cornelia goes into overdrive, vicious and self-obsessed she'll prevent Barbu going to prison at all costs. She knows how to exploit the bureaucratic system in post-Ceauescu Romania - hire lawyers, offer hush money, modify police statements, bribe the bereaved family and push Barbu towards appeasing them. This view of contemporary Romania is brilliantly illustrated throughout but none more than when Cornelia has coffee with Dinu (Vlad Ivanov), an opportunist businessman and witness to the accident who sees a solution at the right price. Yet for all of her efforts, Cornelia fails to win over the non-existant affections of her son and we can vividly see why he wants his freedom from her - it's as though Cornelia needs saving.
Calin Peter Netzer's camera dependent film pieces together the events of one night and the days that follow in a gripping semi-documentary style that's utterly engrossing and offers a glimpse into the moral malaise of the Romanian bourgeoisie. With Luminita Gheorghiu's stunning tour-de-force performance and Razvan Radulescu's tight script it's so obvious why 'Child's Pose' won the Golden Bear.
'Child's Pose' is an engrossing, gripping spell-binding drama of social commentary and psychological realism made on a small estimated budget of 700,00 euros (£1,157,504.00) and filmed over 30 days. Would be film makers take note. A movie to note.