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  • Writer's pictureFabioIMPoppi

"Everybody in Our Family"

A few days ago, I watched "Everybody in Our Family" (Toată lumea din familia noastră), a compelling 2012 drama by Romanian director Radu Jude. This film serves as a poignant example of the remarkable strides made in Romanian cinema, which, despite historically harsh conditions imposed by both fascist and communist regimes, has risen to international acclaim. The oppressive political landscapes once stifled creative expression, making Romania one of the most challenging places for filmmakers. Yet, following the 1989 fall of Ceaușescu, figures like Lucian Pintilie emerged, crafting films such as "The Oak" (1992) and "Next Stop Paradise" (1998). By the early 2000s, a new wave of Romanian directors including Cristi Puiu ("The Death of Mr Lazarescu" - 2005), Cristian Mungiu ("West" - 2002), and Corneliu Porumboiu ("Adjective" - 2009), alongside Radu Jude, catapulted Romanian cinema onto the global stage.

"Everybody in Our Family" particularly resonated with me due to its raw and immersive technique. Utilizing handheld cameras and long takes, the film intricately navigates the confines of a typical Bucharest apartment, plunging the viewer into a tense familial drama. It centers on a father and ex-husband who starts as a devoted, caring parent but spirals into a figure of extreme violence. The portrayal is intense: he weeps, repents, and desperately rationalizes his behavior before succumbing to bursts of both insane and mundane violence. Radu Jude’s direction shuns the glorification of violence, instead presenting it as a grim reality of daily trivialities—mundane gestures and casual words turned sinister. The film underscores a haunting truth: the most frightening aspect of violence lies in its triviality, suggesting no man is inherently good, only varying in the durability of their façades.

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