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Children Underground (2001)

tomatometer

100

Average Rating: 7.6/10
Critic Reviews: 7
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 0

No consensus yet.

audience

92

liked it
Average Rating: 4.2/5
User Ratings: 1,085

My Rating

Movie Info

When Romanian dictator Nicolei Ceaucescu outlawed the use of contraceptives and encouraged his subjects to have more children in a bid to increase his nation's population, his campaign had a terrible and dangerous side effect -- thousands of children were born to broken or dysfunctional families in a nation mired in political and economic instability, resulting in a large and rapidly growing population of homeless children in the city of Bucharest, with their numbers estimated at over 20,000.

Unrated,

Documentary, Special Interest

Feb 28, 2003

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All Critics (18) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (16) | Rotten (1) | DVD (5)

Almost unbearably sad.

June 16, 2002 Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Heartbreaking, urgent, unsentimental and unflinching.

January 18, 2002 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
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Edet Belzberg's fearless aesthetic is also a measure of her film's brilliant indictment of any society that can allow its most vulnerable to slip into oblivion.

September 24, 2001 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
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A heartrending act of courage in the guise of a documentary film.

September 19, 2001 Full Review Source: Newsday
Newsday
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A singularly depressing film.

September 19, 2001 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A powerful piece of filmmaking.

September 19, 2001
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I think the most important aspect here is that this subject is at least being addressed.

December 8, 2002 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Although technically ragged, the film packs a devastating emotional punch.

December 9, 2001 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Homelessness is all too familiar to many inhabitants of the world's wealthiest cities, but rarely has the situation seemed so hopeless, or its victims so desperate.

September 19, 2001 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

A searing portrait of kids abandoned by their Romanian parents, products of former dictator Ceausescu's policy banning abortion and contraception.

September 14, 2001 Full Review Source: Compuserve
Compuserve

Edet Belzberg's heart-breaking documentary transcends exploit by subtly indicting the homeless plight of Romanian youth on Ceausescu's ignorant legacy.

September 6, 2001 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

If you have a stomach for harrowing, depressing true tales of man's inhumanity to man, Children Underground is a fantastic document of a nation's priorities gone wild.

May 15, 2001 Full Review Source: Greg's Previews at Yahoo! Movies
Greg's Previews at Yahoo! Movies

Audience Reviews for Children Underground

Tremendously depressing story about young kids in Bucharest who spend their lives engaged in violence with one another and getting high on homemade goop. See it when you need to be saddened.
January 6, 2012
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

Remembering reading about the horror of the Romanian orphanages a while ago, it's heartbreaking to see that life didn't get any better for these kids. If the point of making this documentary was to help these kids in some way, how could the crew stand by and watch these kids hurt themselves and each other? I'm also curious to find out if this benefitted them in any way. Some were fortunate enough to get off the streets, while others were still wandering around helplessly. It's a well done documentary, but where's the line between being a documentary and exploitation of a situation?
March 26, 2010
neffielee
nefnie lee

Super Reviewer

Wow. This is a spectacular doc. The footage shown is phenomenal and unbelievable. You have to see it to believe it.
July 18, 2008
KLFilmmaker

Super Reviewer

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