“Mama Illegal” movie to be screened in Moldova//INTERVIEW
Documentary “Mama Illegal” tells a story of three Moldovan women who left the country to find work abroad. Trying to fight poverty in Moldova, the women illegally emigrated and earned money as caregivers and housekeepers.
Austrian film producer Eduard Moschitz spent seven years with a protagonist and filmed parts of a woman’s life experiences as illegal immigrant in Austria.
The movie was launched in 2012 and was screened at the European Parliament. On March 6, 2013, producer Moschitz comes to Moldova to present his film for the first time here.
Moldova.ORG made an interview with the producer prior to his arrival in Chisinau.
How was your first visit to Moldova?
Eduard Moschitz: My first impressions from the poorest country in Europe I got when I joined Aurica, the protagonist of the film, at her returning home after two years in absence. My impressions were different: I saw a very poor country with many old people and children. Nearly all the middle aged people have left Moldova, because they have to earn money abroad. There are no possibilities to earn money and the unemployment rate in the countryside is nearly 80 %.
On the other side I saw a very rich country - rich in natural resources. They have lots of food growing, which they cannot sell, because there is no demand, no market for such goods.
Why did it take so long to make the film?
Eduard Moschitz: It took so long because many things happened during the filming. For instance, Aurica’s husband died during the filming. Then she went back abroad, she left her two kids with their grandfather, to earn some more money to finish up her house in Moldova. I joined Aurica mostly all the time during her travelling home and back.
Then I found two other women, who came from the same village as Aurica. One, Raia, was working as an illegal nurse in Italy. She left Moldova seven years ago and did not see her two children in all this time. It was also hard to get a budget for this film. So it was a long procedure to shoot and finish MAMA ILLEGAL.
Was it hard for you to convince the women to talk about their lives in front of the camera?
Eduard Moschitz: In the beginning, of course, I had to convince Aurica to take part in the filming. But the hardest work at all, is to build up a relationship, so the protagonists can trust you. Also, to stay in touch with them for years and find possibilities to follow them with my camera.
Were there moments when they wanted to stop filming?
Eduard Moschitz: Of course there were moments, where all three of them (the protagonists) wanted to refuse a further filming. There were some personnel moments where they couldn't go on. But, as mentioned above, most of the work has to be done for the relationship and the trust in it. So we had to work really hard together to continue. And in the end, we had 250 hours of shooting material.
What was the reaction of the European public after watching the film?
Eduard Moschitz: I had really exciting moments with the audience after the screenings. Many people came to tell me how important this film is and that they want to help the people in Moldova. They try to start some projects, but they don´t know how and where.
But there were also other reactions, like complete astonishing, that those things can happen in the middle of Europe; people still have to work like slaves just to feed their families at home.
What are your expectations for the projections in Moldova?
Eduard Moschitz: It is still known a little from a Western European filmmaker about an Eastern European topic. I am very interested in the reactions of the audience, because it is a typical story about three families in Moldova. I hope people in Chisinau and some villages can understand what I want to express with this film. After the documentary we will talk about slavery in any case, and to consider the consequences.