‘Eden’ is a movie that comes in a time when oppression and the scars of totalitarian regimes are exploited for artistic means, and most of the times, the final product ends up being a docu-drama, with more documentary parts, and less narrative drama, where the freedom of coating a subject into a new and good vibe is over-passed by the need to tell the facts as they were... step by step.
Well, ‘Eden’ is not that; it is a movie about oppression, about censorship as we’ve encountered it in the past, but it is all set in a kid’s world, where the adults are the ones imposing the rule, and the kids are forced to follow, with crude repercussions. The story takes place in a Catholic school for boys, where the rules are strict, the kids are disciplined to follow the rules, and the punishments are up to the status of the school.
We won’t go into strict details, but we will mention a few memorable scenes that we think are representative, and altogether great movie bits. First of all, being familiarized with the communist regime in the Eastern Europe, for us it was quite shocking to see some of the scenes. For example, when the kids “riot”, and make noise at night, and are punished to stay out in the rain, is a very subtle metaphor for the anti-communist partisans that were put in jail, and tortured for days, only to admit that all the things they think are wrong, and the party that was in charge is the best thing that ever happened. Also, when the kids sneak an adult magazine into their dorm, and take turns at looking at the pictures, it is a reference to how hard was to some many countries, back in the day, to sneak within their borders, foreign press or magazines, considered deadly harmful by the ruling party.
As a collective character, the group of kids is astonishing, playing a tough role; sure enough, they might not realize how hard and intense what they did was, but for sure when they will be old enough to study recent history, they will realize the symbolic importance of their role in Ana Pio's short movie.
Written by Vlad A. G