The Paradox of Love & Truth

By Young Film Critic Beata

Emanuel Pârvu might be more known for portraying different roles in Romanian films, but his award-winning movies prove that the director's role fits him nonetheless. His first feature film - Meda or the Not so Bright Side of Things - had its premiere last year and won the Heart of Sarajevo for Best Director and Best Actor. At the International Film Festival Rotterdam his newest short was presented.

Everything is far away is first and foremost a family drama, between a mother and two adult sons. One of them lives in the capital, the other one hasn’t left the family nest. The conflicts are triggered by the birthday of the son, whom the mother and his brother want to make a suprise visit. The film is a realistic approach on distance relationships, generational differences and hiding truth.

At IFFR your latest short movie had its premiere. 15 minutes of irreconcilable oppositions which clash and the outcome sometimes is funny, sometimes dramatic. How has all started? I was searching for the definition and meaning of love. How can you protect somebody you love? What’s the way of real love? Is it love if you are hiding things?

I believe the answer is yes. Not saying things can be a way. Love doesn't have to mean unconditional truth. You can love your mother if you are not sharing parts of your life. She however cannot change things or your life; she is far away. Looking from the mother's perspective, she wants things to be said; parents usually want to know what's happening with their children. But I am questioning if the things that are revealed are doing any good. 

An important element in the dynamic between mother and son is the brother with mental disability. What does his character add to this relationship from your perspective?

I wanted to cover the semantics and symbolism of a clean person. A child is always pure. But the mother is around 60 years old. Because my aim was to make a realistic movie, I couldn’t make the mother carry a small child. This is how the character of the brother has started to develop. He is like and old child; his gestures and actions aren't filtered by the mechanisms of thinking; he does exactly what he feels. And everything he does is done in an affective, not in a conscious way. That is pure, innocent.

Your movies share some common traits; besides the realistic depiction of current social problems in Romania, you focus on relationships inside families. What is your method of working, of finding topics of interest?

I grew up in a mixed environment: in Bucharest and on the countryside. My grandparents lived there and every year I have spent my holidays with them. Relationships are completely different in these two places. In Bucharest everybody is an individual; on the countryside relationships develop in another way. There is warmth between people but paradoxically.