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Bora Bora – by Bogdan Mirică

The absurdity of life in one of the most drought-affected areas in Romania

2010 | 30 - 35 | Dramedy | Experimental | Life & Society | Romania

The title of the first short film directed by Romanian helmer Bogdan Mirică can be misleading. The audience, watching the first frames of Bora Bora, would not be entirely wrong thinking that the set is the original Pacific Island. Well, at least for the first 5 seconds. In fact we’re in Eastern Europe, in Romania. In one of the most drought-affected areas in the country with different problems, not only because of the rain that never comes, but also because of the very limited finances of the protagonist: the fisherman Ion Ion (first and last name. That’s right. Like Bora Bora).

Ion is a depressed young man. He can’t work: his only source of income, a small wooden boat, is broken and he doesn’t have money to fix it. The only solution is to sell part of his land and grow what the new owner requires him. After some time it turns out that the new crop is nothing more than cannabis.

The first part of Bora Bora is the drama: Ion, no work, no money, no fulfilling relationship with his wife. The second, however, throbs with a comic vein. The police captain picks up an unsuspecting Ion and takes him to the Chief, who communicates his indictment and the decision to burn the whole illegal field. While the fire blazes, the director presents three situations simultaneously: the journalist struggling with a distracted cameraman, as she tries to make a live broadcast; the stoned chief indulging in rambling political speeches, in which he accused the progressive collapse of the society from the Yalta Conference; and finally the overweight captain wanting to prove he is a real badass in front of his subordinates.

What you appreciate about this short film is the sense of ridiculous progressively infiltrating, but keeping Bora Bora hanging in the balance: neither tragedy nor comedy. Surely it’s a story that has a touch of ironic, useful to confer thickness. The director himself in an interview with Rapporto Confidenziale mag said that laughter is a great engine for the brain.

After studying journalism and screenwriting, Bogdan Mirică made his debut behind the camera with drama mixed with irony, immediately showing a good eye as a director. Since 2010, year of Bora Bora (selected in competition at Locarno), 6 years have passed and Mirică is now at Cannes (Un Certain Regard) with his first feature film, Câini (Dogs). We’ll hear again about him.

Marta Zannoner

Marta Zannoner

Aspirante scrittrice, osservo la realtà spesso distrattamente. Per questo ricorro ai film, per prestare attenzione.

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