For Western European people, there is a fascination around the exotic place of the east. Known as a former communist side of Europe, the customs and the behaviors tend to be very specific and natural. In this topic, when speaking about naturalism, we look upon the idea of the untouched soul, the human that grew with the same values as his parents and grandparents, the values they developed during the communist period. We are talking here about Romania, a place at the border of the ex USSR, a place that was way more present in the news in the last decade than many other bigger countries.
‘Little Bucharest’ is a magnificent documentary about the eastern European truck drivers community, and how they spend their days off in big parking lots near metropolitan areas. The stories gathered up here are a combination of Emir Kusturica’s world mixed with the moods given by Fanfare Ciocarlia and Goran Bregovic.
The major thing that we really loved about this film was the naturalism. None of the truck drivers was inhibited by the camera. They dealt with life in a normal manner. The stories that lie behind every person here are quite dramatic, but they cope with the idea that the future might be bright if they work hard now. There is a certain scene where one driver tells the other that he made some good money the last month, and wants to drag his brother in this business. He also said that there is no shame in being a truck driver, as he saw doctors doing this for a living.
Au contraire of the popular stereotype that truck drivers are just some people that failed every other possibility in life and took this path because there was nothing else to do, in ‘Little Bucharest’ we see the really humane and kind face of these hard workers. The scene where two of the drivers cook in an improvised kitchen (if we can call it like that!) and discuss about women for several seconds, we can see that they are faithful people. One of the men, after enjoying some delicious food, states that the only thing missing after a good meal is a woman. And the response from the other is quite surprising, saying something like 'we have women, but they are home and waiting for us'.
Another micro-scene that really caught our attention is part of the one we spoke earlier with the drivers eating. The micro-scene where one of the drivers pours some fine Bordeaux wine into a mug and then combines it with Coca-Cola is a mark of Eastern European tradition that was exploited in other movies by Romanian directors.
‘Little Bucharest’ is not just only a documentary that covers the stories of truck drivers in a parking lot. ‘Little Bucharest’ is a movie construction that gathers in twenty minutes a whole range of worlds, a whole range of stories and back-stories that some cannot do in a lifetime’s work.
Written by Vlad A. G