Andra currently works as a film director and a writer in Bucharest, Romania.
After obtaining her Master’s degree in International Law at the University of Paris 1, she decided to follow her long-time dream and become a filmmaker. She graduated film studies at ESRA in Paris and then returned to Romania to work with different production companies as a casting director, assistant director or executive producer. For almost two years, she taught at the Acting School founded by director Florin Şerban, working with both professional and non-professional actors.
In 2017, she completed her shortfilm Granițe / Borders (France-Romania) – an intimate and insightful account of a couple’s separation. The film was financed by the French CNC, the Romanian CNC and the Municipality of Paris. After premiering at the Gent Film Festival in Belgium, the film was broadcast numerous times on Canal+, travelled worldwide and was nominated for the Gopo Awards 2019.
Her most recent work, În mijlocul meu, vocea / The Things We Hide in Silence (2021) is a documentary journey following two characters who engage in an unconventional voice therapy that challenges them to confront the way family patterns, subjective memory and the voices of others have shaped their identity. The documentary was nominated for the Gopo Awards 2022.
Sorana, the wife of a respected doctor and the mother of a depressed young man, avoids facing her family failures by attempting to help a poor family in crisis.
Sorana and Paul Oancea – a well-to-do, respected couple living in Northeastern Romania, decide to help a family from the countryside who have lost their house to the bank. Vali and Roxana Ispas dream of a better life in town for themselves and their kids.
Little by little, through their connections, Sorana manages to find Vali a decent job in town and a home for his family.
While she feels it is difficult to improve the relationship she has with Victor (22) – her depressed son, Sorana finds it rewarding to get more and more involved in the life of the poor family. Despite occasional bumps, the Ispas family thrives under her influence and the future looks bright.
Yet when Vali makes a seemingly terrible mistake at work, Sorana is caught off guard and they all have to deal with a scandal that threatens to bear serious, long-term consequences. Called out by her own “tribe” for having helped someone who proved unworthy, Sorana convinces Vali to do “the right thing” and “plead guilty”. But the decision will have its own unexpected consequences on her personal life.
Sorana, this character that we could generically label as “the saviour” or “the helper”, has an outstanding complexity in my eyes for it is deeply contradictory. Unaware of her own needs, Sorana tries to heal her own sense of shame and inadequacy by giving (as much as she can) to others.
She slides with ease in these people’s lives giving advice, interfering on their behalf, becoming indispensable. Yet somehow, she seems emotionally impaired, especially when it comes to her own son. Eager to save others, in good faith, she can hardly soften herself enough to stop her busy life and actually listen, be vulnerable or even express unconditional tenderness towards him. She cannot allow herself to be “weak”. Nor make peace with her flaws and shortcomings, which need to be kept hidden, far from the eyes of the others.
There is a silent war going on between Sorana and Victor, a war none of them speaks openly about. Just as they never speak about what causes the young man’s depression or the lack of love Sorana feels in her own life.
If Sorana didn’t try hard to please her husband, if she didn’t try to fix Victor’s depression for him, instead of him, if she didn’t try to solve Vali’s problems, she would have to face herself: her own insecurities and her own unpleasant, discomforting sadness.