Easily one of the most astonishing and engaging cinematic works of the past decade, CHILDREN UNDERGROUND is a profoundly intimate and heart-wrenching drama — an Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary Feature in 2001, and winner at nearly every major documentary film festival across the country.
In a style that is altogether shocking, brutal, and deeply humanistic, filmmaker Edet Belzberg transports us to the streets of Bucharest, Romania, where we are introduced to a “family” of five homeless children begging on the streets and living in subway tunnels, drug addicted, and painfully unaware of the cruel horrors of their soul-crushing existence.
As the children’s story unfolds, the windows to their individual lives open up, revealing a harrowing day-to-day struggle for survival–from ten-year-old Ana, unfailingly maternal towards her younger brother Marian despite daily beatings from shopkeepers and other street-children, to Mihai, and unusually intelligent and motivated twelve-year-old who slashes at his arms and dreams of a better life.
In CHILDREN UNDERGROUND, the images captured by Belzberg’s unflinching lens are so powerful and captivating that the camera quickly vanishes from the viewer’s mind. What is left behind is a devastating portrait of human anguish and suvffering more riveting and absorbing than anything ever before captured on screen.