Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

November 11, 2020

DOC NYC Film Festival 2020

Filed under: Counterpunch,Film — louisproyect @ 3:12 pm


Launched 11 years ago, DOC NYC  is the preeminent documentary film festival in the USA, and perhaps the world. Hosted by the IFC Center in NY, it will last between November 11th and 19th. Like every other festival taking place in the city since the pandemic began, it is a Virtual Festival, with individual films available as VOD for $12. After reading my brief takes on seven of the films I had a chance to preview, you might even be enticed to get a festival-wide ticket for $199.

1. Acasa, My Home

Set in a network of lakes and islands not far from Bucharest, Romania, the documentary features a 9-member Roma family headed by Gica Enache who abandoned city life after the fashion of Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden”, except without the typically puritanical streak of the New England Yankee.

The best way to describe the Enache’s household is as a mixture of beasts and humanity that would make a Borat film look realistic by comparison. All 9 of the Enaches live in what must be labeled as a shack, while a variety of pigs, pigeons, chickens, dogs, and cats wander in and out.

Despite the lack of urban amenities, the family seems happy with an Edenic life. They get by on the fish that are plentiful in the water close to their home. Those that they do not eat, Vali, the eldest son, peddles from door to door in the city. When the film begins, we see Vali swimming with a beatific glow on his face in one of the lakes, as his younger brothers row a boat close by. When he catches a goose and begins to toy with it, his younger brothers admonish him to let the bird free. Respect for mother nature runs deep in a family that depends on her for their survival.

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