Children Underground

"Weak"

Children Underground Review


So Romania recently had a no-contraception/no-abortion policy (a misguided attempt to increase the size of the workforce), the end result being the 20,000 unwanted kids were soon living in the subways and on the streets. Here's the documentary that tells there story -- well, sort of. Director Edet Belzberg seems to believe that simply training a video camera on a bunch of mumbling kids passes for a narrative. They sleep, they ride the subways aimlessly, they huff inhalant drugs, they hustle for cash and food, they meet with a social worker once in a while. Mostly they come across like street kids anywhere in the world, and their stories contain nothing unique that merits a film being made about them. The film is aimless, the camerawork random. The thing holds together as well as a coffee cake, and mainly it feels like scenes of kids running somewhere alternating with scenes of kids nodding off to sleep. That's about it.

Belzberg hides behind the hope that pity will work in place of moviemaking technique (much as last seen on Belzberg's earlier outing as executive producer, Anthem, which hoped and failed to replace technique with Americana and nostalgia). Yes, these kids are in deep trouble. Yes, something should be done about it. Yes, a documentary is appropriate to tell their story.

And no, Belzberg just doesn't have the chops to be the one that makes that movie.

Aka Children Under Ground.



Children Underground

Facts and Figures

Run time: 104 mins

In Theaters: Sunday 5th October 2003

Distributed by: New Video

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
Fresh: 16 Rotten: 1

IMDB: 8.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Edet Belzberg

Producer: Edet Belzberg

Starring: Cristina Ionescu as Herself, Mihai Alexandre Tudose as Himself, Violeta 'Macarena' Rosu as Herself, Ana Turturica as Herself, Marian Turturica as Himself, Alexandru Beschina as Himself, Florin Ionut Calciu as Himself, Adrian Chiru as Himself, Romulus Cristescu as Himself, Ilie Fonfonile as Himself

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