Inquiring into the conditions necessary for harmonious social relationships, Ada Kaleh takes its name from a little-known island on the Danube River. Mythologised by Hungarian author Mór Jókai in 1872, it was submerged one century later during the construction of the Romanian-Yugoslavian Iron Gates hydroelectric power station.
The film performs a movement from the personal to the political—and from the domestic to the geopolitical—through a meticulous attunement to the cohabiting rhythms of the residents of a shared house, tracing their negotiation of space, privacy and sociality in a precarious ecosystem of sharing, intimacy and communion. Using continuous shots and richly-detailed close-ups, the material and affective surroundings of a simple sharing arrangement are rendered with gentle care and generous attention. An act of patient witnessing converts into a thinking and feeling-through of new ways of being together. In a present of polarised and fragmented social relations, it defiantly claims the ability to imagine new social and political communities. —Letitia Calin