TOTO AND HIS SISTERS, raises a real paradox emotional which makes it a work difficult to understand. It is a film that leaves a feeling of unease. This is the story of small miracles, which hatch in the midst of darkness, and it is very difficult to give the right to judge what we see… We are in the exhibition, without artifice, a brutal reality in which the beauty of the pulsion of life has succeeded to well. Is this the story of hell or hope ?

Then the reading of the synopsis we think of a fiction touching and tender, the first feature film ofAlexander Nanau is a documentary shock which plunges us, without complacency in the life of a Roma family through the prism of a young boy Totonel and his two big sisters.

No scenario writing, or directing, Alexander Nanau has placed his camera for 14 months in existence painful and lonely four human beings who are struggling to survive. He delivers a film of ” direct Cinema , “and is content with a discreet mount to witness the fate of the “street” children in Romania, where every day is a victory over the distress that prevails. TOTO AND HIS SISTERS we deals therefore to be a difficult experience. Some images are unacceptable, not that they are violent, but they expose us to painful visceral and indignation deep. We asked several times if it will be possible to continue with the viewing, we hesitate, but we hang on to and for good reason ! It would be easy to leave the room and look elsewhere, but we cannot resolve to leave eyes these children have real struggle and that life has offered nothing, if this is not the worst of the fighting. Spectators in consciousness, we are fighting we are also to keep, until the end, and to accompany these little beings to the incredible amount of force, until the end of our trip with them.

Totonel is 10 years old and this little boy is full of joy. Her cheerful smile and her mischievous eyes we discover right from the opening scene where he appears with his sisters in an apartment run-down where they do the housework. They are not much older than him, they were 13 and 15 years old. In the room there was no bed but a sofa strewn with blankets dirty. Totonel topless tries to go to sleep but a group of men burst. Uncles ? Friends ? It is not known what time it is but they invade places, dirty, rependent, and inject heroin. Andrea’s younger sister flees to go to sleep at a friend’s, the other remains, and in spite of his anger, and resigns himself and injects a dose in the hand… The room fills gradually with plugs of plastic which are based drugs, smoke cigarettes, and discarded syringes on the ground. Totonel doesn’t date, doesn’t rest, he waits, he watches, nobody sees yet the room is 8 m2. The night will be long… this One like all the others…

“The story of little miracles that hatch in the middle of the darkness. An exhibition without artifice, a brutal reality in which the beauty of the pulsion of life has succeeded to well.”

TOTO AND HIS SISTERS is a dive in the epitome of the resilient human. The light of her young beings we knots the throat, and we can barely believe their superhuman strength. Toto and his younger sister Andrea does not have enough to eat -a boiled egg when there are – but they feed insatiably education and art The school that supports it, then the orphanage, provide them with the sustenance of the spirit and the soul that keeps them alive and makes them happy. While their older sister doesn’t get out of the grip of drugs and this small apartment that is his only landmark, Toto and Andrea learn to read, to dance, to write, to exist simply. They will finally be able to write to their mother in prison for 6 years for drug trafficking.

The abandonment unbearable to these children by the family of blood in the construction of a fundamental link in the school and the orphanage, the course of these street children is also unbearable as majestic. The documentary is full of small moments where the magic of life resumes its rights, or the eyes sparkle, when the joy broke out. But despite their meteoric rise during these fourteen months of immersion, the smiles that fail to satisfy us. They we face, we jostle and we upset them. To be a child this is not it. And it is this dimension that is unbearable in the film, Nanau, childhood is sacrificed.

Caution: some scenes may offend the sensibilities of young parents…

The achievement is extremely summary, a digital camera and a camcorder for a few sequences in the self-portrait we are bathed in a rawness of vision. Light and direct, point of view, to the height of a man, there was no effect of achievement, or of grammar of the cinema. Filming the bodies and faces in front, but never be overwhelmed by a counter-dive, which would have been easy. We look at our characters in the eyes. Only the installation lasted one year loan seems to have been tagged. The sequences in “selfies” shot camcorder to the hand by the two young heroes allow us to breathe, to blow. These plans are a burst necessary to the complicity and the love that binds these children and enable it to support the diving of one hour and forty in the deep waters of the atrocity the more complete, abandonment, drugs and suffering.

Final scene

We leave Toto and his two sisters worried about me, then their mother comes back in a final sequence. Toto hides his face and refuses to touch this woman that he does not know, he has not been seen since 6 years, it is a foreign…. What will be the result of their lives, will she take care of them ?

Alexander Nanau restores with remote and without bias the reality of Roma merely state a position on a given time. If the distance to which it is attached is a fair and necessary it is, however, oppressive and suffocating, often in front of the images. The documentary genre propels the film in a form of violence that can make it inaudible, because we often want to stop watching. A fiction film inspired by actual facts well put in scene, or simply a timeline and a completion is more subjective and suggestive might be given a film more accessible, or at least certainly more distributed.

TOTO AND HIS SISTERS or the chronic intolerable of a child aborted in Romania, leaves taste extremely bitter and even painful. One idea we hooked to the output, that is, the Love that we owe it to the children.



The Eight guys, The boss’s Daughter, Mistress America, Stop me there, Early Winter, Toto and his sisters, etc

Original title : Toto si surorile him

Achievement :
Alexander Nanau

Screenplay :
Alexander Nanau

Main players :
Hovarth Ilie Nicusor Gabriel Petre, Andreea Violeta Petre,

Country of origin :

Released :
January 6, 2016

Duration :

Distributor :
JHR Movies

Synopsis :
At the heart of a roma family in full meltdown, emerges the figure of Totonel, 10 years, ” said Toto. With passion, he learns to read, write, and dance. Especially to dance and to win the great competition of Hip Hop. In the midst of the chaos, her two sisters try to maintain the thin balance of the family. The cinematic narrative of Alexander Nanau records without pause, to the height of a man, the life of Toto and the family who lack everything, except humour and love.

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