With the documentary Ca La Moldova, Chris and I tried to create a snapshot of life in the Republic of Moldova. Through candid photography and compelling interviews, Ca La Moldova explores the present day challenges the country faces set against the backdrop of the rich cultural history of the land formerly known as Bessarabia. Ca La Moldova tracks Moldova’s transition from a Soviet Republic to an independent state, through the economic turmoil and uncertainty of the 1990s, to the election of a Communist government in 2001, to the present day issues of emigration, corruption, language, and the tensions that exist between ethnic Romanians and Russians.
The film’s narrative begets the questions: was life better during the Soviet Union or now? Perspectives from all segments of society capture the soul of a nation as it comes to terms with its past. Will the country move forward toward a liberal democracy or try to retain the security and stability of Communism? As Moldovans try to chart a course for the future of their country a new challenge emerges. Many Moldovan youths desire to leave the country. Spurred on by a lack of opportunities, small salaries, corruption and patronage the majority of young Moldovans believe their future lies outside of Moldova’s borders. Will they remain abroad or return home? Can Moldova’s economy be sustained on remittances? What will Moldova’s future hold if an entire generation emigrates with no plans to return?
Ca La Moldova hopes to inspire the youth of Moldova to embrace the challenges their nation faces. Ca La Moldova is a call to Moldovans abroad to return home. Ca La Moldova illustrates the beauty of a nation with an all too unfortunate past as it looks for a brighter future.