Mother's obsessive love exposed in Romanian movie at Berlin

Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:34am EST
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By Gareth Jones

BERLIN (Reuters) - Actress Luminita Gheorghiu plays a domineering mother trying to save her son from jail in "Child's Pose", a stark family drama from Romania competing in this year's Berlin film festival.

The movie, directed by Calin Peter Netzer, shines an unforgiving light on the casual corruption and flashy materialism of post-communist Romania's upper middle class which expects to be able to buy itself out of any difficulty.

Netzer belongs to a group of young Romanian directors who have emerged since the death in 1989 of Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu who had controlled the arts with an iron hand.

With its black humor, social satire and a remorseless focus on its protagonists' neuroses, the film stands firmly in the tradition of Romanian new wave cinema that has wowed Western audiences over the past decade.

But Gheorghiu said the film's theme is universal, not local.

"I don't think this is a problem specific to Romania. There are mothers like this everywhere ... who are victims of their unconditional love for their child," she told a news conference after the film's world premiere on Monday.

Gheorghiu's character Cornelia hopes to win back the love of her son Barbu by using her social connections and splashing cash around liberally after he accidentally knocks down and kills a boy while speeding along a road outside Bucharest.

Barbu, 30, traumatized by the accident, faces up to 15 years in jail if convicted but he is also desperate to escape a mother who has always tried to run his life and refuses to let him grow up.   Continued...

Actors Bogdan Dumitrache (L-R), Luminita Gheorghiu, director Calin Peter Netzer and producer Ada Solomon pose during a photocall to promote the movie "Pozitia Copilului" (Child's Pose) at the 63rd Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin February 11, 2013. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz