Archive of films Children Underground / Children Underground

Romania / USA
2001, 105 min

Section: Documentary Films in Competition
Year: 2001


Romanian Communist leader Nicolae Ceaućescu’s population policies, directed against sex education, birth control and abortion, resulted in, among other things, twenty thousand unwanted children who today have no homes. The film looks at five of them living at the Piata Victoriei underground station in Bucharest: 17-year-old Cristina is the head of a small gang, ten-year-old Ana has run away from home for the second time and has brought her eight-year-old brother Marian with her, 14-year-old Macarena is seriously hooked on sniffing Aurolac, a paint abused by her entire group, and 12-year-old Mihai has run away because of an alcoholic father. The kids survive by begging and occasionally working for stall vendors; they hang around the park, and some visit their families accompanied by the filmmakers. With startling frankness, the film offers a rich and intimate look at the existential situation of the five homeless children.

About the director

Edet Belzberg graduated from the School of International and Public Affairs at university in Columbia. She has made a short documentary about a Chinese political refugee, A Master Violinist (1997), and produced the feature-length documentary Anthem (dir. by Shainee Gabel and Kristin Hahn, 1997). Children Underground was awarded the Special Jury Prize at the 2001 Sundance festival. Currently she is producing and directing a feature-length documentary about three top American female gymnasts preparing for the 2000 Olympic games. Another planned project is a documentary about juvenile delinquents in the US.

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: Documentary Films in Competition
Director: Edet Belzberg
Screenplay: Edet Belzberg
Dir. of Photography: Wolfgang Held
Music: Joel Goodman
Editor: Jonathan Oppneheim
Producer: Edet Belzberg
Production: Belzberg Films

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