"Our love helps me believe that I still exist”
Added 23rd September 2019
Review by: Jane Alexandra Foster
Released in 2019
Immigrant worker Mihai is Romanian, but lives in the UK and is a skilled contract employee on a construction site. He often recalls the woman he loves and their small child, who are not in the UK, which gives him peace from his loneliness.
As life unfolds against the back-drop of Brexit and economic austerity, conditions on the building site become uneasy, and Mihai’s life becomes increasingly more complicated.
Delicately and sensitively filmed right from the start, Memento Amare
looks at very pertinent subject matter yet it somehow manages to avoid clichés, and both moral and political posturing to present a very human story about the lengths we all go to look after our families.
Set against the emotive back drop of the referendum in 2016, to decide whether or not the UK stays or leaves the Economic Union, the story here is from a very personal, individual viewpoint, and looks at the strong emotional, cultural and totally valid standpoints of all the characters it portrays.
The debut feature of Romanian writer/director Lavinia Simina, Memento Amare, like many first films in today’s tough marketplace has had a long journey to find distribution, in this case the wait is worthwhile. This is a film that although made for pennies, has a very honest and heartfelt core to it.
The photography by up and coming cinematographer Simon Rowling, who also co-produces, marks this film as a true ‘first film’ collaboration and promises good things to come. The match between direction, acting, writing and photography really works. For sure, there’s no fancy technical shots with 21st century rigs, but this is not the sort of film that needs them. This is elegant, talented and a skilled zero budget film that never looks cheap, with intelligent framing and timing that works well to set off Lavinia Simina’s story telling and vision. The edit, by veteran Dragos Teglas is also lovely.
Parallels will inevitably be drawn with Brexit and the resulting tension across Europe, as families from all the European countries wonder, ‘what next?’ However, that almost misses the point of Memento Amare, as this is a very human story.
So find a quiet evening in, and enjoy.
THE B CLUB RATING : B b b b
Starring: Christinel Hogas, Andrei Costin, Maria Alexe, Alin Balascan, Stela Toba, Maria Ianas
Director: Lavinia Simina
Memento Amare will be available on Amazon Prime soon.
The B Club
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