52 min

In development

Valentin, Son of Europe

Directing: Antonio Martino


Valentin is 25 and currently lives in Paris. He grew up in Bucharest before moving to Belgium as a teenager. He is one of the protagonists of the documentary Gara de Nord: copii per strada shot by Antonio Martino in 2005. At the time, Romania was in a state of chaos, Ceausescu's long dictatorship had just come to a violent end. Bucharest was full of abandoned kids. To escape the cold, many would hide in the tunnels of the sewers near the main railway station, the Gara de Nord. All of them forgot their troubles by inhaling Aurolac, a noxious paint, from a plastic bag they always carried with them. Valentin was one of them back then.
His life changed when, at the age of fourteen, he was adopted by a Belgian couple of Algerian origin, who, after some initial documents, managed to gain his affection and give him a normal life. Later, Valentin saw the documentary by chance on YouTube, and saw himself as a street kid. He contacted Antonio via Facebook and then he decided to go back to Romania. In the past, he had already gone back to look for his two brothers which he helped move to France. But he still needs to find his mother whom he hasn't seen since he was little and his little sister. Then there are his friends from the sewers and in particular, Marcel, who was a bit older, with whom he spent so much time. Above all, his daughter Eliza, whom he had with a Romanian woman, an ex-street kid. They met on Facebook, she lives in Italy with their daughter, accusing Valentin of not supporting them.
During the trip, the search, we see footage of the 2005 documentary and archival footage of Romania, like flashbacks from Valentin's memory. Valentin is accompanied by Antonio's gaze and by the silent presence of his younger brother Constantin, who is also anxious to find the bits of his life he lost along the road, to put together the pieces of an old family photo, torn up a long time ago.
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