Francesca (Romania, 2009)

directed by Bobby Păunescu, drama, 94 min, eng subtitles
written by Bobby Păunescu
with Monica Bîrlădeanu, Dorian Boguță, Luminița Gheorghiu

The story centres on Francesca (Monica Bîrlădeanu), a young and idealistic Romanian nursery schoolteacher who is about to leave for Italy, where she dreams of opening a nursery for the children of Romanian immigrants.

Her decision immediately arouses reactions from her family, partner and friends. Some, like her father, discourage her by referring to the racism in Italy - "they brought us into Europe so they could treat us like slaves and screw our women". Others, including her mother, encourage her. And others are still undecided because they are too caught up in their own problems, such as her boyfriend Miță.

With its "aggressive" dialogues which mention the names of Italian political figures - in particular Alessandra Mussolini and Verona mayor Flavio Tosi, accused of intolerance towards Romanians - debut director Bobby Paunescu's Francesca has caused a stir in Venice.

Gijón IFF 2009 (FIPRESCI Prize - Best film)