Child's Pose

dir. Călin Peter Netzer, Romania 2013
Golden Bear Berlinale 2013



Calin Peter Netzer's "Poziţia Copilului" ("Child's Pose"), awarded the Golden Bear at 2013 Berlinale proves that the Romanians have become masters of cinematic realism. Just as his famous colleagues Cristian Mungiu, Cristi Puiu and Corneliu Parumboju, Netzer skillfully combines social observations with wonderfully outlined psychological drama.

A tragic accident is the center of "Poziţia Copilului." Thirty-something Barbu (Bogdan Dumitrache) exceeds a speed limit by fifty kilometers, and his speeding car kills a boy running across the street. For Netzer, criminal case becomes the starting point of a story about the clash of the classes and dramatic social inequalities. The director portrays the new Romanian bourgeoisie, which pretty much behaves like the old nomenclature. The scenery has changed, but not the habits. Barbu's mother, Cornelia (excellent Luminita Gheorghiu) feels comfortable when she finds herself in a situation where you need to make phone calls to the right people, visit the appropriate offices, promise something to someone, and slip a bundle of bills into somebody's hand. Wealthy, well-adjusted Cornelia will go to great lengths to save her supine son - as far as she is concerned neither the killed child nor his family matter. Corruption serves also as the way to build a relationship with a supine, week Barbu; and here the mother uses blackmail, espionage and bribery. Not knowing how to obtain love, she tries to force it. "Poziţia Copilului" gives one of the most powerful film portraits of a toxic almost passion-like relationship. You may try to translate it into relations of generations; it turns out that Netzer has created an extremely critical portrait of his generation - cowards unable to take responsibility and cut the umbilical cord. Not only the one connecting them with toxic parents, but also a toxic system that still poisons the Romanian elites.