“Seule a mon mariage/ Alone at my wedding”, directed by Romanian-born Marta Bergman and produced by Ada Solomon (Romania) and Cassandre Warnauts (Belgium) and staring Alina Serban, had a special screening in Bucharest at Cinemateca Union on Monday evening, followed by a Q&A session with the director, the lead actress and the production team.
“Alone at my wedding” had its world premiere in the ACID (Association pour le cinéma indépendant et sa diffusion) programme at the Cannes Film Festival this year. The movie was also selected at the 2018 International Francophone Film Festival in Namur.
A Belgium-Romania co-production, the 110-minute drama was shot in Romania and Belgium with Alina Serban and Tom Vermeir starring.
The trailer is available here.
Insolent, spontaneous, funny. Pamela, a young Roma, is different from other women in her community. A single mother, she lives with her grandmother and her little girl in a small hut where the three of them share a bed. How can she reconcile the needs of her two-year old daughter and her dream of freedom? Pamela embarks on a journey into the unknown, breaking away from the traditions that suffocate her. “Lapin, pizza, amour”. All she has are three words in French and the hope that marriage will change her and her daughter’s destiny.
The film is about courage and determination to overcome one’s condition, but also a manifesto against discrimination.
Producer Ada Solomon stated after the screening that, although the film had no funds from Romania, more valuable things than money have been gained while filming, “the support of a wonderful crew”. „”I am excited of the way we worked together”, Ada Solomon said, revealing that the French operator of the movie was for the second time in Romania after he had also collaborated for „Banat” film (“Banat/Il Viaggio” feature film directed by Adriano Valerio and co-produced by Ada Solomon tells the story of an emigration from Italy to Romania).
The female director Marta Bergman, a Romanian-born Belgian who graduated the Film University in Brussels, makes her debut for a feature fictional movie with “Alone at my wedding“, after the long series of documentaries made over the past years. One of them, „One Day My Prince will Come” is somehow related to this film’s topic, focusing on how Romanian women were trying to get married abroad through the dating agencies in the 90s. Other documentaries had the Clejani fiddler band at the focus.
“Pamela’s story has come up, inspired by my documentaries and from the stories of some other people whom I filmed. I imagined this female trio: Pamela, grandmother and little girl and all her emancipation track,” the director said, adding that the end of the movie is emotional, likewise the rest of the film, it’s an open end.
Roma actress Alina Serban, the one who plays Pamela in the film, is also making her debut as an actress in a feature film. She said after the movie screening on Monday that for her “Alone at my wedding” is a “womanly feminist film” and that she and Pamela have much in common, but they are also different at some point.
“We have lots of things in common, but Pamela is more courageous than me. We are the same as none of us accepted her condition, to lie on our side. Due to my mother and to many people I met later on in my life I said no, I will not stay where the society told me to stay, I want to define my happiness the way I want, to go to college, study acting, etc. This is where me and Pamela are the same, for it should be normal to ask what we all deserve and to question barriers”, Alina confessed.
“However, I am more frustrated than Pamela, for I have been loaded with more complexes that society dropped on me on my path, the complex of beauty, of inferiority. Pamela is braver than me, she is freer”, the lead actress added.
Alina Serban underlined that this story is universal and many could found themselves in it, but on one hand, the fact the focus in on a Roma girl is also good for “we haven’t got the chance to see too many Roma girls in this empowering situation.”
“Alone at my wedding” will hit the theaters in Romania as of Friday, November 2.