Directed by Diana DeleanuItalian title: Humoresque
Romania / 2007 / 16'

This is the portrait of a 94-year-old Romanian woman and it is made up of short fragments and footage snippets grouped in titled chapters, just like silent movies. Most of the titles are Romanian proverbs. The film’s rhythm comes from Dvorak’s Humoresque and Mendelssohn-Bartholdy’s wedding march, producing a sort of slapstick comedy atmosphere. By telling Maria’s story, the film also characterises the Romanian Zeitgeist then and now. Maria is therefore a paradigmatic character. She always had to work hard in her life, first as the eldest of six children and later on the communist farm where she has been milking twenty cows a day for thirty years. She did her job ungrudgingly. The brightest spot in her life was when a man arrived, moved in with her and never left her. They have been living together their whole life and today they hang their walking sticks on the clothesline when sitting on their doorstep. Maria is ready to leave this life, but there is still one thing to fix: money for her funeral.

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