Film notes: Ana, Mon Amour (2016) directed by Călin Peter Netzer

RO-DE-FR / 127 min / Color / A Freeman Entertainment (in Romania) release of a Parada Film, augenschein Filmproduktion, Sophie Dulac Prods. production/ Dir: Calin Peter Netzer Pro: Călin Peter Netzer, Oana Iancu Scr: Cãlin Peter Netzer, Cezar Paul Bădescu, Iulia Lumânare, inspired by the novel “Luminiţa, mon amour” by Bădescu Cin: Andrei Butică Cast: Mircea Postelnicu, Diana Cavallioti, Carmen Tănase, Vasile Muraru, Tania Popa, Igor Caras Romanov, Adrian Titieni, Vlad Ivanov. Synopsis: Toma and Ana meet as students in the literature faculty, and quickly fall in love. But, because of Ana’s mental illness, their relationship slowly collapses. Release Dates: 17 February 2017 (Berlin International Film Festival); Romania 3 March 2017; Spain 25 August 2017. IMDb Rating: 7.3.

By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, Toma and Ana meet at university. A love affair begins that is full of hopes and dreams and suffused by the feeling that each needs the other in equal measure. Ana has a complicated family background and suffers from severe panic attacks. Middle-class Toma is as shocked as he is fascinated by the deep well of despair he encounters in his beloved. Toma gives Ana his complete support and takes her to see a string of doctors. At the same time the two begin to isolate themselves from their families and friends. Ana’s weakness appears to make Toma stronger. When she falls pregnant, Ana embarks on a therapy based on analytical psychoanalysis from which she emerges a stronger person. But then Toma’s world begins to topple … Călin Peter Netzer’s film blends romantic drama with a study of mental illness and how it is overcome. Unfolding like a complex puzzle structured around Toma’s psychoanalytical sessions, the narrative plunges into the past in a series of sustained flashbacks. Scenes from a complex marriage that reveal numerous connections to the repressed depths and taboos of Romanian society. (Source: Internationale Filmfestspile Berlin)

Film poster: By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use,

Director’s Note: Ana, Mon Amour is a story about a man’s struggle to find out how the unseen, the unspoken, even the unthought shaped his life. “I think it’s important you understand what kept you with Ana.” Toma is told during a therapy session. The film doesn’t deal with the erosion of Toma’s relationship with Ana, but rather with the actual impossibility of properly building a relationship. The lovers behave like communicating vessels in physics; they flow into each other with their own unfulfilled needs. They are caught up deeply in what psychoanalysis calls transference: the redirection of existing feelings and desires towards a new object. The truth always finds a way to survive its denial.

Călin Peter Netzer: Born in Petroșani, Romania in 1975, his family emigrated to Germany in 1983 and he grew up there. After finishing school he returned to Romania and from 1994 to 1999 studied film directing in Bucharest. After realising a series of short films, he made his feature film debut in 2003 with Maria. His family drama Poziția Copilului (Child’s Pose) won the Golden Bear at the 63rd Berlinale in 2013.

Filmography (selection): 1994 Mingea de cârpă (Rag Ball); short film 1995 Ochi uscați (Dry Eyes); short film · Advertising Spot 1996 Hot Line; short film 1997 Maria; short film 1998 Zăpada mieilor (The Snow of the Lambs); short film 2003 Maria 2009 Medalia de onoare (Ehrenmedaille) 2012 Poziţia Copilului (Child’s Pose) 2016 Ana, mon amour

My take: Begoña and I went last week to see Ana, Mon Amour. A film that in a nutshell have seemed to me too theatrical, dull and pretentious in my view. It also has some pornographic scenes, entirely meaningless, and in bad taste. The film is poorly shot and the story is badly told. I’ve lost the appetite to going to the cinema for a while. Fortunately. I have some interesting TV series in the weeks ahead to watch.

The Hollywood Reporter


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