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24 Buckets, 7 Mice, 18 Years

Documentary Film
30 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Pintilie Adina, Manekino Film
Iacob Marius
Marius Iacob
Marius Iacob, Vlad Voinescu
Marius Iacob
Vlad Voinescu
Numbers figure prominently in the lives of the Hungarian-Romanian charcoal burners Piroska and Imre – just like the wireless, the Caribbean and a booming poverty tourism industry. The young directors Iacob Marius and Vlad Voinescu mix these ingredients with a light touch and a sure sense of drama.
Imre and Piroska spend their summers in a forest in Transylvania piling up pyramids of wood that will travel to the whole of Europe as charcoal. Which means it travels further than the couple who live in a rundown railway car with no electricity and spend their evenings listening to radio features about distant countries and discussing the perfect lottery numbers. The world regularly visits them in the shape of tourists wheeled in on horse carts – how authentic! – and willing to pay a small consideration for permission to take pictures of real Eastern European poverty, preferably featuring themselves posing with the shovel. Piroska and Imre take it with a sense of humour and prefer to think about the problem of transforming 230 bags of coal into the lottery ticket that will take them to the beach of their dreams – one day.
A smart reflection on the allegedly documentary view, for the affluent citizen feels deliciously horrified, fills his memory card with photos and decamps. Left behind in their authentic filth, the others must continue to hope for a miracle – or the right number.

– Grit Lemke