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Children Underground.

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1 week ago

I remember watching them with disgust because of their way of living and looking. Dirty, clothes with holes in them, way bigger than them and the smell was and will be unforgettable. They always had a bag at their mouth inhaling and exhaling, the bag was almost grey, actually more like a silver-ish color and it looked heavier than a normal bag. It passed some time to understand that they were sniffing glue actually, intoxicating themselves to dull the hunger. My father was always talking bad about them, even cursed at them sometimes, yelling at them to stay away from us everytime they were getting close to us to ask for money or food, now I am actually trying to understand them.

They were the "Children Underground" as they were called by the Oscar nominated documentary, released in 2001 and directed by Edet Belzberg. It is a profiling documentary of the homeless children of Romania, orphans. The victims of a nation's reckless and unrealistic decision to grow the population during the communist era.

This documentary focuses on dramatic lives, that are full of abuse, poverty, drugs and starvation. On children very different from us, "normal people" that had a life where was far away from the cruelty of the world, or in this case specifically, the policy of a dictator that banned contraception and abortions. Thousands of unwished children were born, some of them end up in a shelter, some of them adopted by Belgians, English and Germans, some of them just end it up in the street.

The lack of food, warm, shelter makes this documentary one of the saddest experience someone can find in this world. The bleakness and the depressing tone makes you powerless in the face of the injustice in this world. Some imagery will stay with you long time after you finished watching the movie. One of the few films, if not the only one to step inside of the life and portray it as real as it gets. Profoundly intimate documentary, Children Underground, tells the drama of unwanted or homeless kids, struggling for survival on the streets of a country filled with ignorance, lack of opportunities and resources.

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