A Romanian family leave their homeland and relocate to Berlin. It hardly sounds like fertile ground for documentary filmmaking but there’s something just so damned compelling about Colorado Velcu and his extended family that you can’t help being sucked into their hopes and dreams. Colorado is very interested in the idea of documenting himself. He tells of the numerous diaries he’s started and abandoned since his youth (Adrian Mole, he isn’t). His friend, documentary filmmaker Philip Scheffner starts to record the Velcu family’s life with a camera, but this doesn’t sit right with Colorado. What about all the times when Philip isn’t there? Who knows what will be missed?
Colorado begins to take on the bulk of the camera duties himself. He is not entirely natural in the presence of the camera, and sometimes the amount of willpower needed not to stare straight into the lens is evident. This lack of naturalism is rather amusingly acknowledged. Discussions come to an abrupt end when one of them suggests they could do it better. And so they try once again to have their “natural” conversation for the benefit of the camera.
As his extended family becomes disillusioned with Germany and depart for Spain and Italy, Colorado’s loneliness and insecurities become evident, and he seems to deal with it by further documenting the whole process. His wife is back in Romania, in prison for a crime that is not named. She will be released soon, will join her family, and everything will be better. The sense that everything will be better is something that drives Colorado as he navigates his way through German bureaucracy to build a better life for his family. It’s a pleasure to watch him on his journey. While not a hugely unique story, it’s one that you really hope has a happy ending.
And-Ek Ghes… does not yet have an official UK release date.
Read more of our reviews and interviews from the festival here.
For further information about the 66th Berlin Film Festival 2016 visit here.
Watch a clip from And-Ek Ghes… here: