Watch Waiting for August
- 1 hr 28 min
Waiting for August is an engaging and poignant documentary directed by Teodora Ana Mihai that illustrates the challenges of one family's day-to-day life. The movie begins by introducing us to the story of Georgiana Halmac, a 15-year-old girl from Bacau, Romania. Georgiana is the eldest of five siblings and has been left in charge of her younger brothers and sisters by her mother, who works abroad in Italy. The documentary movie follows the family's struggles and their daily chores in their absence of the single parent.
The movie showcases the story of their father, who left the family when the mother decided to go abroad to earn a living. Georgiana now bears the responsibility of taking care of her younger siblings, such as school drop-offs and pickups, grocery shopping, meal preparations, house cleaning, and everyday chores. Despite the hardship of her life, Georgiana still maintains a positive attitude, which inspires the audience to appreciate the value of family ties and resilience.
The director touches on several different themes throughout the movie, such as economic migration, poverty, and social responsibilities. The constant migration of Romanians seeking better opportunities leaves behind a startling paradox: the country has a shortage of professionals, and the youth are left behind in the company of grandparents, siblings, and isolated communities.
The movie explores the intriguing culture of Bacau and emphasizes the impact of migration on Romanian society. The audience can witness Georgiana's daily struggles as she grapples with the absence of her mother and the responsibility she bears for her siblings. Through her life, we are presented with an insight into poverty in Romania, exposed to it in many forms through empathetic cinematography, music, and imagery.
One of the most striking aspects of the film is the director's ability to capture the emotions of the family members through their facial expressions, body language, and verbal exchanges. The director has a unique way of making the audience feel involved in the movie and making us feel as if we have known the family for years. During her interviews, the audience can sense that Georgiana is sometimes frustrated by her situation, but her love for her siblings never wanes. Her constant efforts to keep her family together, even during the most challenging times, are incredibly admirable.
As the documentary progresses, the audience gets a glimpse into the family's lives, its routines and learn about the siblings' aspirations. Georgiana dreams of traveling, seeing the world and earning a degree. Her brother, Andrei, and sister, Ana, both have high academic ambitions, and they seek the support they derive from their older sister.
The documentary also does a terrific job of juxtaposing Georgiana's life in Bacau and her mother's life in Italy. The mother's life is not shown on screen, yet the audiences can feel the same sense of yearning and separation that the Halmac children must feel. The contrast highlights the sacrifices made by the mother to provide for her family and the children's determination to come together.
The cinematography and soundtrack play an integral role in capturing the essence of the movie. The beautifully composed shots of Bacau's architecture, landscapes, and streets create a vivid representation of Romanian culture.
The movie also features the subtle use of poignant music, which heightens the emotions felt by the audience. The director suffuses each frame with the right amount of melancholy, which heightens the sense of urgency that drives the family's fragile stability.
In conclusion, Waiting for August is an emotionally charged and thought-provoking documentary that tackles some of the most significant issues affecting Romanian society today. Through Georgiana's life, the audience learns that, with proper support and guidance, children can rise to the challenge of overcoming adversity. The movie is heartwarming and heartbreaking all at once, and it has a lasting impression even long after the credits have rolled. Anyone interested in migration, poverty, and family ties will find this documentary well worth their time.
Waiting for August is a 2021 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 28 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.1 and a MetaScore of 75.