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  • Maria
  • Maria
  • by Calin Netzer
  • Romania
  • 97.0 mins
  • Festival: 2003
  • Section: Concorso internazionale

Awards: Special Mention, Youth Jury

Awards: Leopard for Best Actor

Awards: Leopard for Best Actress

Awards: Special Jury Prize

The film
In a Romania making an anarchic transition to a market economy, Maria tries desperately to find a way to cope. A young mother of seven children, she lives, or rather survives, as best she can in the insalubrious basement of a decrepit apartment block. Her husband has just lost his job after the factory where he worked has closed down. An alcoholic, he squanders the family’s meagre resources at the bar. When he wrecks this drinking den, he is arrested so flees the family home to the countryside. Alone and desperate, Maria can see no other solution than prostitution to provide for herself and her family. A choice that incurs the wrath of the neighbourhood, hitherto more inclined to pity than to help the woman they now condemn out of hand. Caught in the act in a motorway layby, she agrees to tell her story to a local TV channel, which results in the offer of a lifeline. Alarmed, the town mayor decides to offer her a decent flat and a job, but the driver who is supposed to take her to her new life can only see in her the prostitute she has been forced to become: which leads to unforeseen consequences... The visual aesthetic of Maria reflects that of the world his protagonists inhabit, pervaded by the bleakness of an era, habituated to adversity: lighting that is somewhere between dawn and dusk, dingy grey settings where the only colours are the carriagework of the heavy goods lorries in transit and the alluring clothes of the prostitutes. The Romania depicted by Calin Netzer is a society of doubt, disillusioned, vegetating, caught between the blackness of the abolished totalitarian regime and the dazzling fantasies of the liberalism to come. A twilight world.

Production Year: 2003

Production country: Romania

Runtime: 97.0 mins


Director: Calin Netzer

Screenplay: Calin Netzer, Gordan Mimic

Cinematography: Mihail Sarbusca

Music: Alexandru Zidaru

Sound: Constantin Fleancu, Cristian Tarnovetchi

Editing: Melania Oproiu

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