Chisinau from Dawn till Dusk

Life in Chisinau is not a fairy tale. The film portrait of the capital of Moldova contains images that are proof of this. We see the deadly drudgery of workers in the extraordinary interior of a brick factory hidden underground in the side of a mountain, we follow the daily bustle of a shop assistant, who appears at her shop at the crack of dawn as if at some border post. The inhabitants of Chisinau are very resourceful: if they cannot cope otherwise, they start small businesses in their homes. We go into a barber’s shop in a block of flats, then descend to the basement, where in a small shop funeral wreaths are put together and portraits are drawn for tombstones. A wine tasting scene becomes rather ironic in this context, with the connoisseurs-to-be being entertained in a luxury restaurant, learning the ins and outs of taste receptors as well as the right colours and aromas of the beverage which forms the natural wealth of Moldova and its trademark. However, the greatest strength of the film are the statements contributed by the people in it. It is from them that we learn about the actual wages, working conditions, health care, unemployment, politics and emigration. These statements dropped in incidentally in conversation, sounding natural and without any journalistic intentions, become a source of concrete knowledge about the lives of the inhabitants of Chisinau, and remind us that a real document feeds on the crumbs of reality.