Synopsis by Andrea LeVasseur
Romanian filmmaker Peter Calin Netzer directs the bleak realist drama Maria, based on the true story of working-class Romanian woman Maria Tiranesi struggling to make the transition to a market economy. Played by theatrical stage actress Diana Dumbrava, Maria is a pregnant mother of six with an abusive alcoholic husband (Serban Ionescu). After he gets arrested and skips town, she is left alone with nowhere to go. Refusing an offer of a lot of money for her newborn child, Maria eventually turns to prostitution. After she tells her story to a local TV channel, the mayor gives her a job and an apartment as part of a publicity stunt. Maria won two Bronze Leopard awards at the 2003 Locarno International Film Festival.