All Change! The Romanian Film Festival in London. 1-4 May 2009, 6th Edition. Curzon Mayfair Cinema.

Weekend With My Mother

Weekend cu mama
Director Stere Gulea
Romania 2009 / 90 mins

Adela Popescu, Medeea Marinescu, Tudor Aaron Istodor, Gheorghe Dinica, Razvan Vasilescu, Ion Sapdaru, Andi Vasluianu

Monday 4 May 2009
6.30 pm

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Weekend With My Mother

Stere Gulea’s latest film is a stylish, contemporary drama about family, emigration and addiction, with all the ingredients that made Trainspotting so much of its time. Yet it has the signature of recent Romanian filmmaking at its heart, meaning the plot is made of substantial, current material and the light at the end of the tunnel might be a train.

Luiza (Marinescu) moved to Spain many years ago, leaving her young daughter Cristina in the care of her sister’s family. She only returns about a decade later, when her sister has a stroke. Cristina has grown up to be an angry young girl and has run away with her heroin-dealing boyfriend - she has no interest in her mother’s visit. Luiza has to blackmail her daughter in order to spend time with her, and just as the two find some long-lost connection, things unravel and Cristina’s drug riddled past catches up with her.

Weekend with My Mother has a strong cast, that acts out the nuances between violent outbreaks and very soft moments with great care and balance, dealing with the emigration theme in a novel, yet believable way.

The film marks Stere Gulea’s return to film directing, since he made State of Things in 1996. In the meantime he was busy with various projects, not the least managing Romanian state television from 1996 to 1998.

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