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Romulus, My Father


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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: #81,628 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Romulus, My Father" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

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

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.

Customer Reviews

Is the love between mother and son, father and son, husband and wife?
Kotori
Franka Potente and Eric Bana provide solid performances, but the true star is Kodi McPhee, who has to wrestle with a wide array of emotion.
Subauthor
"Romulus, My Father" is an Australian drama genre film that reflects on the adolescent stages of philosopher Raimond Gaita's life.
Nicholas R.W. Henning

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 27, 2008
Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Scarlett on July 2, 2008
Format: DVD
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Milo Dandee on January 17, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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 friendship that some fathers lack with their son(s). Eric Bana, my handsome giant, portrayed the father role very well and his son, whoever the actor is, is excellent. I recommend this and another film called Together(Chinese film with subtitle)to anymore that is into films like this.
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