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
About the Director(s)
Alexander Nanau was born in Romania and studied directing at the Film and Television Academy in Berlin. His documentary film, The World According to Ion B, received an International Emmy Award in 2010. He holds a fellowship at the Sundance Institute.
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