I simply love Berlin. It has little of what I usually find enchanting in a city- the architecture, a romantic old town, the sea and, last but not least, dark and beautiful people. 😉 But it does a great job compensating the lack of European grandeur (due to the fact that it was bombed under WW II) with a down to earth buzz, which is why I prefer it to both Barcelona and Rome. Berlin has the river Spree and knows how to use it, it has incredibly creative people, lots of galleries and cultural happenings everywhere, yummy restaurants, world class museums, not to mention the “not so bad” Bauhaus buildings. 😉 I´ve been there quite a lot in the last 6 years and I like to think I know the city a little bit, so I invite you to read about my top 5 things to do when in Berlin.
I´m a Communist Biddy joins the ranks of great Romanian post 2000 movies and made me really proud to be Romanian. I have to say, the way Europe regards Romania, both due to the problems with the Roma and on account of the crimes committed by Eastern Europeans, pride is not the first thing I have in mind when I think of my mother country. Pride seems to be reserved for those with a great historical past or with a blooming economy. Luckily, this is where culture comes in. One shouldn´t judge a book by its cover and neither should one judge a nation by its reputation. And while Romania´s people are the ones who bring shame to their country, they are also the ones who save it from disgrace.
But let´s get back to the movie. I´m a Communist Biddy is a warm and humorous family drama sprinkled with bizarre elements of Romanian culture, the tuica drinking, the living in the past and the worshiping of all things foreign. The daughter who emigrated to Canada and then moved to America comes back with her fiancé Alain, whom her parents insist on calling Alin, since that is a common Romanian name and they can´t be bothered with foreign pronunciation. One of the presents they bring home is a sort of an egg cutter that shapes the egg into a square. This absurd device is perfect to illustrate the admiration Romanians have for all things fancy, although they might not have a function at all. The whole audience laughed as hard as they could at this recognition.
After a while, the family is let in on the young couple´s secret, that they are about to lose their home if they don´t pay 15000$ to the bank. The parents agonize about it and end up mortgaging their own apartment to borrow money from a Chinese pawn-broker.
All in all, the movie is not so much about Ceausescu and the old communist times as it is about youth, nostalgia and family values. And since the mother lived her best years under Communism, she idealizes the impact it had on people´s lives.
You should all see it if you get the chance! And while I´m at it, check out this short movie, too!