Thursday, September 23

If you have the time, do try to get 'Children Underground', a documentary on street children in Romania. For most part of the film, it's in Romanian but there are subtitles. Rashad lent me the DVD & I cried my eyes out watching these kids.

Mihai, for one is an intelligent, charming, wistful & sensible 12 year-old who ran away from home because of his abusive father. & this father claimed that he never laid a hand on Mihai when interviewed, but he admitted to having chained Mihai by the neck to a radiator to stop him from running away from home. But Mihai's so sweet & adorable. He likes poetry, he loves to study & he loves Science, in his own words, "organs & such", & he wants to have his own "pretty" house when he grows up, & he wants his own family. He kept shifting around, & he wants to go home badly but he's afraid of his father. He's so world-weary, it's heart-breaking watching him puff away on his cigarette & speaking wistfully about his life. He moved to the construction site with Cristina after the short stay with the homeless mom didn't work out & got beaten up so bad, he went into a coma & almost died. I had an impulse to fly to Romania & adopt him. Then I realized that this film was made years back...& he would be my age by now. So adoption is out of the question.

Ana the crazy 10 year old girl who 'kidnapped' her brother Marian a year after she ran away. It's rather sweet how she takes care of him but she's rather psychotic. She takes drugs along with all the other kids, & apparently, after years of living in the subway station, she was returned to her parents(they were in danger of prosecution if they let Ana get away again) & diagnose with mental illness. Marian was placed in a state centre. It's so sad because Marian obviously loves Ana a lot.

Cristina, the 16 year old gang leader. She dresses like a guy, & fights like a guy. She's made of steel, & she's hopeless. She has given up all hopes of life & it's depressing the way she speaks about herself. She got chased out of the subway station by the police & she went to a construction site, where she was frequently beaten up by the older guys.

Macerena, the ultimate psycho. She's 14, & she takes Aurolac like no one's business. Aurolac's a toxic silver paint & they acquire these bottles of Aurolac from the hardware store & pour it into paint bags & they sniff. Macerena spends most of the film staring dazedly into space & talking weird gibberish. She doesn't know her parents at all, yet she speaks of a twin sister with the same name as her. She's one hell of a scary person.

Yeah, a painful insight into Romania's aftermath of the dictator who ruled out abortion and contraceptives. He wanted to boost Romania's population but look what has happened now. Hundreds of thousands of unwanted children.

Why are children being abandoned when others are dying to have their own?

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