Francesca by Bobby Păunescu - CINEPUB


Women who love too much

„Francesca is Bobby Păunescu’s first feature, a Romanian film that can be integrated in the New Wave’s aesthetics, produced by Cristi Puiu and very well receive by the critics. I was released in a time when Romanian’s and Italian’s perceptions about one another were tense. Beside this context that leaves an imprint on the film’s subject, „Francesca” is also an interesting romantic movie.

Francesca by Bobby Păunescu - CINEPUB

Director: Bobby Păunescu
Scriptwriter: Bobby Păunescu
Cast: Monica Bîrlădeanu, Dorian Boguţă, Teo Corban, Luminiţa Gheorghiu, Doru Ana, Dana Dogaru, Mihai Dorobanţu
Produced by: Anca Puiu, Cristi Puiu, Bobby Păunescu
Cinematography by: Andrei Butică
Film editing by: Ioachim Stroe
Year: 2009
Category: feature film
Genre: drama
Duration: 96 minutes
Subtitles: english
Territories: –

121,706 – Cinepub viewers


Francesca is a young kindergarten teacher whose dream is to migrate to Italy. Looking for a better life, Francesca is ready to face any obstacles, even the doubtfulness and worries of her close ones. The plan is that her boyfriend, Mita, should join her in Italy as soon as he finishes a small business he’s involved in. Things take an unfortunate turn, painful truths come to light and priorities change.

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“Francesca” was placed in the track of some Romanian films that are representative for the New Wave cinematography. Both the director and the actress Monica Bârlădeanu have been praised for their professionalism, and the film has won a Critics’ Award.

Beyond all that, beyond the twisted ethno-political context the characters live in (between ruthless identity labeling, such as „Italians are gangsters and barbarian”, „Romanians are thieves and criminals”), „Francesca” is a Romanian film about love.

The female character is the prototype of the woman who loves limitlessly: to save her lover from the loan shark’s teeth, she doesn’t hesitate getting herself into ambiguous sexual situations, she protects her mother, tries not to vex her father and to always take care of everyone and everything, even though she is the most vulnerable of all when she decides to leave for Italy, for a job with unclear implications


”I honestly have no objections to this film. It was not meant to be a commercial film which would have involved shortcuts in the story, a certain dramatic crescendo following a certain recipe. It is a slice of life in which one recognizes today’s Romania–a sort of cross cut of the society – with all its disappointments, anomy and confusion.  People fuss about – to leave the country, to make money – but since not all of them are gangsters, they don’t succeed. It is a pessimistic film, as is our own reality.” (Alex Leo Șerban – )

“Unlike most of his contemporary Romanian counterparts, Păunescu does not search for and does not highlight the sordidness of everyday life. The “bad things” are there, in the background of Francesca’s struggle to leave the country and help her boyfriend Miţă (Dorian Boguţă) with the money he owes to the slick and threatening Remus (Mihai Dorobanţu) and his merry gang. Păunescu’s movie certainly has its thriller-like moments and the sharply cold direction helps the build-up of dramatic suspense.” (Cristi Mărculescu – )


  • Venice International Film Festival, Orizzonti Opening Film – Italy 2010
  • Reykyavik International Film Festival – Iceland, 2009


  • FIPRESCI Prize, Gijon International Film Festival – Spain, 2009
  • Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Gopo Awards – Romania, 2009
  • Special Mention (Dorian Boguță), UCIN – Romania, 2009

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