pozitia-copiluluiPoziţia copilului (2013)
Poziţia copilului
Regia: Călin Peter Netzer
Actori: Luminiţa Gheorghiu, Bogdan Dumitrache
Gen film: Dramă
Durata: 116 minute

Poziţia copilului vorbeşte cu emoţie, dar şi cu umor, despre relaţia dintre o mamă dominatoare şi fiul ei adult. Poziţia copilului este un film despre traumele sufocării copiilor prin dragoste, despre amprentele pe care le lasă părinţii asupra personalităţii copiilor. În acelaşi timp, filmul este o radiografie a “high-class-ului” românesc contemporan, vorbind despre trafic de influenţă şi corupţie la nivel mic în instituţiile de bază ale societăţii şi extensiile acestora asupra întregului sistem socio-economic din România de azi.

The story: Cornelia, a middle-aged high society architect, is informed by her sister-in-law that her son Barbu has killed a child in a traffic accident, and both immediately proceed to the police station where he is being held for questioning. They barge into the interrogation, all the while phoning useful contacts, and manage to change Barbu’s statement, after which they take him back to his parent’s house. In the following days, Cornelia develops various schemes to get Barbu off the hook of a trial, receiving unexpected support from Barbu’s wife (or girl-friend) Carmen, even though they thoroughly hate each other.
The accident itself is not the main story. It serves as a backdrop for highlighting the blatant disregard of the rich for the poor, the pervasiveness of corruption in Romanian society, and to illustrate how possessive and self-serving Cornelia is. Most screen time is devoted to Barbu’s ‘cutting of the post-natal umbilical cord’, his sometimes desperate, mostly half-hearted attempts to gain independence from his overprotective mother.
The strength of the film lies in the ambiguity of its characters, foremost Luminiţa Gheorghiu’s Cornelia, which she brilliantly portrays as a vicious self-obsessed diva totally immune to the plight of others, and who is still thoroughly devoted to her son. The viewer is torn between disgust and pity for her, for instance, when stopping in front of the killed child’s parents, she exclaims ‘Damn, it’s one of the better houses’, indicating that her only interest is to buy the parents’ consent to revoke their claim against Barbu. Yet when sitting with them at a table, she so tearfully describes her plight that one cannot help but feel moved. Barbu, on the other hand, is a hypochondriac and coward, who for most of the time cannot admit to what he has done, but when he argues with Cornelia to back off, one cannot help but wonder how he could have turned out any other way, given the obsessive nature of his mother.
The real icing on the cake, however, is a brief scene between Cornelia and the principal witness to the accident, whom she hopes to bribe. Vlad Ivanov (of ‘Doctor Bebe’ fame in ’4 months 3 weeks 2 days’) once again plays a cynical ruthless character who confronts the female protagonist with the fact that the situation forces her to do precisely what he wants – well, maybe not quite. This scene is the best of any Romanian film I have seen in the past five years and merits the price of the ticket alone.
What may elude a non-Romanian viewer of this film is that the title itself is also ambiguous, ‘poziţia copilului’ being a wordplay with ‘poziţia corpului’, which means ‘position of the body’, a term used in police reports to describe the location of an accident victim when found. This recalls ‘poliţist, adjectiv’ by Corneliu Porumboiu, which in 2009 won the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize in Cannes. That title is also a wordplay, and Netzer shares many stylistic resemblances with Porumboiu.
If the film isn’t perfect, then because of Netzer’s tendency for emotional overkill; he rides his protagonist’s credibility a little too hard sometimes, as in his debut feature ‘Maria’ (2003). However, that film is still alive in my memory precisely because the misery of the main character was so all-encompassing, so he may be using exaggeration as an artistic tool. ‘Child’s Pose’ is a little too obviously geared towards festival expectations rather than domestic audiences – Romanians tend to prefer their social criticism with a large dosage of humor, as in all-time favorite ‘Filantropica’ (2002) by Nae Caranfil. But since the acting is mostly nothing short of brilliant, these calculations do not harm the film’s artistic value and social message.

Categories: Filme 2013, Filme Drama

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