Episode 6 – The House of Children

Yes! Finally episode 6 is now online for your viewing pleasure.

If you’ve read my book (Complete Insider’s Guide to Romania) you know what it says on the back cover. It mentions orphans specifically because it’s often the only thing many people in other countries know about Romania. If you do a search for “orphans + Romania” in a variety of languages, you will see there are still dozens of charities involved with this even today.

When I set out to make this documentary, I didn’t know how to address this topic. I had no idea where any orphanages were here in Cluj. But over time, just meeting people, I came across both children who were currently living in orphanages today as well as former residents. And thus, the material for episode 6 came together.

Quite frankly, it’s a difficult topic to address. On one hand, these are children (and former children) who have a difficult life. But there is a real temptation to become a misery pimp and exploit their situation. Therefore I handled it as objectively as I could, letting the people involved do the talking and tell their own story in their own way.

I have no idea how many children are currently living in orphanages today but the most recent data I found came from a UNICEF report from 2009. While certainly some of those statistics are grim, others are very positive, such as a 97% literacy rate amongst “youth” (age 15-24).

Again, my intention is neither to minimize the living situation of certain people in Romania nor to over-dramatize it and sensationalize their misfortune. This is a documentary about all of Romania, both the “good” and the “bad”. Nothing you see is artificial or contrived. It was all a result of happenstance during the course of our filming in various cities. I leave it to you to render your own judgments.

In other news, I have been told by various parties that the promos are now running on PROTV for the segment featuring yours truly (adika me). I spoke with the producer who assured me it would run tomorrow (December 1) but he couldn’t tell me at what time. So therefore I don’t know. I looked at the online TV guide and all evening will be nothing but soccer games (football matches) so I presume my segment will appear in the daytime.

Again, I don’t know when and I don’t own a TV (plus I have to work – it’s not a holiday in America) so the irony is I probably will never see it :) Goodness knows, if you manage to watch it and record it, by all means contact me and send me a copy!

In other, other news, I sat down with one of Romania’s foremost bloggers for an interview the other day. Although his web name is Groparu (The Gravedigger), he was actually a really nice guy :) Here’s the direct link to the video interview with me (in Romanian only, sorry). Enjoy!

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