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Romulus, My Father (2007)

Eric Bana , Franka Potente , Richard Roxburgh  |  R |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Eric Bana, Franka Potente, Jacek Koman, Marton Csokas, Alethea McGrath
  • Directors: Richard Roxburgh
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 22, 2008
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0013527IE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #229,498 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Romulus, My Father" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Romulus, My Father is based on Raimond Gaita's critically acclaimed memoir. It tells the story of Romulus, his beautiful wife, Christina, and their struggle in the face of great adversity to bring up their son, Raimond. It is, ultimately, a story of impossible love that celebrates the unbreakable bond between a father and a son.

As bleak but just as often as exquisitely beautiful as the Australian landscape where it takes place, Romulus, My Father is a film that reminds us that there's no explaining the mystery of family ties--not the ones that bend or even break, and especially not the ones that suffer the most unspeakable hardships. Directed by Richard Roxburgh (the first behind-the-camera effort for an actor whose resume includes roles in Moulin Rouge, Van Helsing, and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen), based on a memoir by Raimond Gaita (played by young Kodi Smit-McPhee), and set in 1960-61, it stars Eric Bana as Rai's father, Romulus, a Romanian-speaking Yugoslav who toils as a blacksmith in the remote Aussie town of Maryborough, where the locals call him Jack. Life is simple but hardly easy, especially when Rai's wayward mother, Christina (Franka Potente) visits from nearby Melbourne. Christina, to put it mildly, is strange; promiscuous, irresponsible, and depressed, sometimes suicidally so, she has only the most tenuous grasp on what it takes to be a mother and wife, and her rare and unannounced visits don't do either father or son much good (especially after she moves in with one of her husband's friends and has another child, whom she cares about even less than she cares about Rai). The cinematography is lovely, and the performances are first-rate (Bana, who no doubt welcomed the opportunity to be in a small, character-driven film after big budget Hollywood epics like Hulk, Munich, and Troy, is excellent). And while there is neither a lot of dialogue nor much in the way of plot (the story consists largely of a series of tragic episodes, most of them with Raimond as the innocent victim), Romulus, My Father still manages to convey some profound, ineffably human feelings. --Sam Graham

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Raimond Gaita is not a name widely known to the world outside Australia where he serves as a professor of philosophy, writing extensively on 'skepticism (moral, of other minds and of the external world), on the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of psychology, on aspects of political philosophy (collective responsibility, the role of moral considerations in politics, genocide and the alleged uniqueness of the Holocaust), on education (the nature of teaching as a vocation, the role of love in learning and the plight of the universities) and on Wittgenstein's philosophy of mind and language'. After this filmed version of his memoir ROMULUS, MY FATHER, he may well gain a larger audience. This low budget film uses fewer words than silences and actions to depict the childhood of Gaita in the period around 1960. For many it may seem an aimless, prolonged, sad film, but for others it will deliver a life force in a sensitive child that is indomitable.

Romulus Gaita (Eric Bana) immigrated to Australia from Yugoslavia with his wife Christina (Franka Potente) and their son Raimond (Kodi Smit-McPhee). Romulus works as a blacksmith and farmer to support his family: Christina is not happy with the confinement of marriage and motherhood and finds frequent reasons to have promiscuous jaunts away from her small house and maternal duties. Romulus and Raimond are very close and find ways to exist without Christina, especially when Christina has an extended affair with a family friend Mitru (Russell Dykstra) and has a child by him. Despite warm support from Raimond and his best friend Hora (Marton Csokas), Romulus decompensates and his radical behavior results in his hospitalization in a mental institution.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent movie - But painful to watch July 2, 2008
Without going into the plot- most other posts cover it here, I wanted to share my thoughts on this movie as well. It is a sad but very insightful view into a child's experiences as he watches his parents relationship develope into something so depressing and unhopeful. Despite that, I still loved this story because of the performances by the actors. This memoire reminds me of another memoire turned movie "This Boy's Life." The story is depressing the whole way through, but because of the actors/actresses, it becomes more realistic and gives you a reason to care what happens to these people.

Also, i forget the name of the person responsible for the cinematography on this movie, but it is outstanding! I wanted to keep each frame and each shot as a photograph and frame it on my wall, it is that good. The colors and the whole look of the picture, just takes you back to that particular time and place. It gives the sad movie a sense of peace and comfort where you would least expect to find it. I looked it up on IMDB, and seems like he also did the cinematography for Little Women, another movie with an excellent look/feel. Sometimes I would buy a movie to keep just for that reason - its like keeping a photograph book that takes you somewhere else everytime.

This is a very touching movie - It'll have you thinking about it long after the movie is over. And to learn that it was a true story and what has become of that child in the story, gives you assurance that it does have a good ending after all.

Its missing 1 star from perfection beccuase as much as I liked this movie, i dont know how many times i could watch it - even though i plan on buying this movie.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Yesterday, we watched the DVD of Romulus, My Father, which follows Raimond Gaita's memoir of his early life with his father scrupulously. On the way back to Dubai in 2003, I had come across philosopher Gaita's The Philosopher's Dog. I bought it, read it and passed it on to our philosopher son Jeremy (The Ecological Life) to read. Shortly after, Jeremy picked up Gaita's Romulus, My Father, and returned the favor by passing it on to me to read. I found it exceptionally well written and deeply moving.

Let me start by saying that the movie of Romulus, My Father is exquisitely filmed. It's all light and shadows, sepia browns and yellows in the back country of Australia, the movie analogue of those great photographs of the Depression by Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans. The acting, too, is first rate. Eric Bana (Munich) is a perfect choice for the father, conveying emotion even when still and displaying the essential gravity and weight of Gaita's working class father plays the father. ALL the actors are first rate. The story tells of young Rai's growing up caught between a strong, almost Old Testament father and an emotionally and mentally troubled mother who drifts in and out of the family wreaking havoc wherever she lands. Another virtue of the film is the dramatic use of stillness, which gives the viewer time to let his or her feelings grow of their own accord. The movie won several awards in Australia but received almost no critical notice in this country. That's a shame because it's really good.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning emotional masterpiece January 3, 2008
By Kotori
In writing this review, I struggle to digest the film, to wipe my tears and construct a cohesive sentence...

Romulus my Father is a deeply moving story, tracing the path of one family as they struggle to survive as Australian immigrants, a mothers neglect and abandonment, and very great love.

Is the love between mother and son, father and son, husband and wife? It's all kind of hard to say, as in most families.

The heartwarming performance of Raimond as portrayed by our little Aussie actor, and Eric Bana's superbly executed Romulus is never sentimental, always harshly real but compassionately drawn.

I highly recommend this beautiful film, although it is a tearfest and if you have children you'll come away cherishing them all the more.

One explicit scene & moderate coarse language. Not suitable for kids.

Video special features include:
There are a few bells and whistles thrown in behind the scenes with special features from the directors, interviews & commentaries - worth watching.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Excellent movie. Amazing story of a fathers love for his child and his wife. Movie was filmed very well with a great ending
Published 7 months ago by Matt Snider
4.0 out of 5 stars Where are the kangaroos?
Eric Bana as Romulus gives a remarkable performance as a Central European immigrant to Australia trying to raise his son, Raimond, on a farm outside Frogmore, Victoria, Australia,... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Trevor Henderson
5.0 out of 5 stars Eric Bana is outstanding in this role!
I loved the honestly and devotion of the 3 men in this movie, Romulus, Raimond and Hora. The acting was superb.
Published 18 months ago by Annette Stratton
1.0 out of 5 stars Rec'd bad DVD
I started watching this dvd without checking it 1st. It was trouble starting it & midway thru, it froze up. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Sandra Goodman
4.0 out of 5 stars Mom Liked Men Too Much
This is a well-made movie. The acting, directing, cinematography, sets, and scripting are all up to professional standards. Read more
Published on September 24, 2012 by p89jjy717
1.0 out of 5 stars negative review - there is a color problem with the dvd
there is a color problem with this dvd. it has a purple/green cast to it. i presumed i could not return for a credit/replacement since i opened the jacket.
Published on September 4, 2012 by Thomas Borns
5.0 out of 5 stars A challenging life shapes a fine young man
"Romulus, My Father" is an Australian drama genre film that reflects on the adolescent stages of philosopher Raimond Gaita's life. Read more
Published on February 20, 2012 by Nicholas R.W. Henning
2.0 out of 5 stars Good price except for the postage
The cost of the DVD was fine. I did object to paying as much again for the postage to arrive in Australia. Read more
Published on June 6, 2011 by Morgan
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT MOVIE!!!
If you are into father-son relationship. I never had a solid friendship with my father but this film shows not only the father-son relationship aspect of it, but also that special... Read more
Published on January 17, 2011 by Milo Dandee
5.0 out of 5 stars Romulous, My Father
Eric Bana truly captured the personality of Raimond Gaita's father in this true life story. This film was collaborated with Raimond Gaita, the philosopher and will shake up your... Read more
Published on December 23, 2010 by islandbb
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