Too Close, winner at the Astra Film Festival goes on the big screen

too close, winner at the astra film festival goes on the big screen The film, nominated for the 2023 GOPO Awards, tells the story of Andrea, who builds a new life for her two children on her own.

As of May 16, the documentary film "Apropierea"/"Too close", directed by Botond Püsök, strated being screened in Romanian cinemas. The film has won numerous international awards, including the Award for the best non-fiction film in the Emerging Voices of Documentary category of the 29th edition of the Astra Film Festival in Sibiu. The film, nominated for the 2023 GOPO Awards, tells the story of Andrea, who builds a new life for her two children on her own, after her ex-partner was sentenced to several years in prison for sexual abuse. However, most of the villagers openly support her ex-partner and his influential family and do not believe that the man committed the crime for which he was convicted, blaming Andrea and her daughter for making false accusations against him. When Andrea learns that the man will be released earlier, she is forced to fight against the mentality of the community which she is living in, so as to protect her children and to heal from the traumas of the past.


In 2016, Botond Püsök participated in the Astra Film Festival and the DocuArt Festival with the documentary "Angela", which received the best director award. Angela, the main character of the award-winning documentary in 2016, told the story of a young Roma woman who finally manages to save herself.


We spoke to Botond Püsök about the topics he has tackled in his films so far, difficult, taboo subjects that are not talked about much: "These topics which, most of the time, we choose not to talk about, are the homework, the topics that fascinate me the most. I am drawn to them also because there is this silence around them and this is a reason that prompts me to make the film, I try to understand why certain things cannot be talked about and why we’d rather not discuss them. Trying to question these things led me to the reason for the trauma and the healing. It's a theme that I've been dealing with for a few years already, I've made a few documentaries that talk about it. The struggle of the characters in my films - a struggle that defines us very strongly and knows no limits and censorship - inspired me a lot. When we experience such big traumas and feel that no one is by our side, that no one can help us, and that our only help remains ourselves, we end up discovering things we didn't know about. That's why, through these films that I make, I do not focus on the trauma itself, but more on the psychological healing process that the characters go through. If these themes or stories did not contain much light, then I could not tell them. That hope is probably what inspires me and I hope it inspires the audience as well."


He has recently presented the documentary "Too Close" also within the One World Romania Documentary and Human Rights Film Festival. Moreover, the film directed by Botond Püsök brought back to the public attention the phenomenon of sexual abuse and violence against children and launched a nationwide awareness campaign. 3% of the teenagers in Romania admitted that they were victims of rape in 2019, according to a Save the Children study. Botond Püsök believes in the power of documentary and he also believes that it can become a platform for critical thinking and for encouraging civic action.


Botond Püsök: "This is why I make documentaries and I focused more on this genre, although I primarily studied fiction film. I believe that the documentary, although it has a smaller audience than the fiction film, can have a much stronger emotional impact. And if at the end of the screening the audience has the opportunity to talk and exchange opinions with the director and the film's protagonists, the impact is even stronger. It's incredible, it creates such an intense connection, and that's another reason that drives me to continue making this kind of observational documentary. The statistics regarding sexual abuse and violence against children are very worrying, if we talk about the EU, Romania is at the top of the countries with the most such cases. That is why I think it is all the more important to address these topics. It is also our duty to take these stories forward, to be informed, not to pretend that these things are not happening and consider that it could not happen to us or those close to us. I think there are small steps that can be taken, there are solutions that can help us. If we speak up, if we break this culture of silence that surrounds this issue of abuse, especially abuse against minors, then we might be able to change something, I think.”


The film "Too Close" is produced by Irina Malcea through Luna Film (Romania), in co-production with Spot Productions (Hungary) and in association with RTL Hungary. (LS)
Publicat: 2023-08-26 14:00:00
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