Date: Monday, November 16, 2015

Time: 7PM

Location: Brattle Theatre, Cambridge, MA

Details: 2014, Romania, 93 min

Director: Alexander Nanau

Film Website | Facebook Event | Tickets

Best Documentary at the 2015 Gopos Awards (Romanian Academy Awards), Best International Documentary at the 2014 Zurich Film Festival, Honorable Mention and Ecumenical Jury Prize at the 2014 DOK Leipzig Film Festival

Director Alexander Nanau will attend via Skype for Q&A moderated by Monika Navarro, documentary filmmaker and producer for WGBH WORLD Channel.

Synopsis: “Toto and His Sisters focuses on 10-year-old Toto and his two teenage sisters, Ana, 17 and Andreea, 14. The three siblings live in a run-down suburb of Bucharest surrounded by rubble and desperation. In the absence of both parents their apartment has become a drug den for their uncles and various neighbors. Despite the surrounding misery the children are smart and strong, helping each other and educating themselves while maintaining a childish joy in life, as they wait for their mother to return from prison.

The siblings’ ways of coping pulls them in different directions, and it soon dawns on Andreea that it’s up to her to provide Toto with a stable role model as Ana is sucked deeper into her uncles’ world. Director Alexander Nanau’s choice of placing the camera in the childrens’ own hands is a clever device, giving them agency to tell their own story. Nanau blends their intimate footage with more traditional filmmaking techniques to provide a well-rounded and immersive portrait of drug-abuse, without feeling exploitative or sentimental.”

—Jule Rozite / Tribeca Film Festival

“A unique, intense and deeply probing insight into the life of a Roma family living on the fringes of society. A drama full of the highs and lows that only real life can supply.” – Zurich Film Festival


The DocYard will present a short documentary from the award-winning PBS series, FRONTLINE, prior to this feature screening. FRONTLINE has served as American public television’s flagship public affairs series since 1983. Described by The Atlantic as “the best news program on television,” the series has built a reputation for powerful  investigative storytelling that tackles the tough, controversial and complex stories that shape our times. More than 180 FRONTLINE documentaries are streaming in full, for free, online.

Tonight’s featured short film is LIFE IN BAGHDAD.

Description: A rare and surprising look at the everyday lives of Iraqis. Amidst the backdrop of war, families are still finding moments to laugh, celebrate and even go for an ice cream. It’s the kind of footage we’re not used to seeing from Iraq — a powerful and lyrical illustration of how, even in a city under constant threat of violence, life goes on.

Reported by MARTIN SMITH
Produced and Edited by MICHELLE MIZNER
Principal Photography SCOTT ANGER