Hot Docs 2014 Review: Waiting For August
Georgiana Halmac is a fascinating figure. She is mother and caretaker, she is big sister and comforter, she is friend and kidder, and she is student and observer. What makes this as well as her patience and self-awareness most notable is that Georgiana is 15-years-old and looking after her six siblings.
Across nearly a year, filmmaker Teodora Ana Mihai in her remarkable debut follows Georgiana through the seasons as she cooks, cleans, studies, socializes, and takes care of her Romanian household while other mother works in Italy to provide monetarily. The seven adolescents live in a small social housing condo, passing the time and getting on until August when their mother will return – for now.
It’s an intimate look into the world of some most charming children, all of whom become unique individuals by the time the film closes. They are cleverly introduced as one evening when Georgiana cooks, their mothers calls and speaks to each in ascending order of age.
Their situation is not uncommon it would seem, but there is an optimistic tone throughout as no one seems resentful or heartbroken; they miss their mother, yes, but they all seem to understand the situation they are in. The emotions run the gamut, and it’s at times as winning and hysterical as it is heartbreaking and tense.
All the while Georgiana faces responsibilities of adulthood with the standards struggles of teenagedom: dealing with girlfriends, boyfriends, and grades. It’s a smartly-told and beautiful, affecting journey of love and resiliency.