The Enache family- father Gica, mother Niculina and their nine children- all occupy a plot of land by an old reservoir just outside of Bucharest, where they’ve lived in relative peace for years. The kids are wild and totally free, running around in nature, but the squalid nature of their circumstances is also evident. When the government designates their land a nature park, the family is forced to move back into the city. This proves to be a wrenching adjustment, particularly for Gica, who likes being his own boss and whose identity is tied to living apart from civilized society. Will this highly unusual clan survive?
Utterly fascinating, stranger-than-fiction doc tracks the Enaches over four years, as their painful process of relocation unfolds. There are really no heroes or villains here; to his credit, director Ciorniciuc avoids taking sides, confident his observational camera will capture a compelling story. And so it does. Patriarch Gica is the true heart of this tale- on the one hand, a petty tyrant with his family; on the other, a vulnerable man desperately clinging to his pride and freedom. Atmospheric, at times even lyrical, this arresting film makes us ponder universal human issues like the pull of conformity, the inevitability of change, and that ever-precious element in our lives we call “home.”