Valentin, son of Europe

country, year
France, Belgium, Italy, 2020


running time

directed by
Antonio Martino

English, Romanian, Italian, French


about the film
Valentin is a 25-year-old Romanian, who was adopted by a Belgian family at the age of 16. A few months ago, he recognized himself in a documentary film that was shot when he was a homeless child living in the streets and sewers of Bucharest. With the help of filmmaker Antonio Martino, Valentin explores his unlikely journey from a homeless boy in Bucharest to the comfort and safety of  middle-class Belgium. Valentin, Son of Europe is a tale of social redemption, and a metaphor for the fate of Romania 30 years after the fall of Ceaușescu.

about the author
Antonio Martino was born in a small village in Calabria in 1977. After having  graduated from cinema studies at the University of Bologna in 2003, , he shot his first documentary in 2006, using a small hand-held camera: “Gara de Nord_copii pe strada is a  story about homeless children around the main railway station in Bucharest; the next year, the debut received the prestigious Ilaria Alpi award. In 2010 Martino co-founded the Bo Film production company. His passion for documentary films has arised from the need to tell stories about human beings, and their living environment,  which changes dramatically. Thanks to the digital revolution in the movie business, light equipment has allowed him to shoot in extreme places such as Syria, Libya, Uzbekistan or Turkey. His stories deal with environmental, social and political issues.

festivals and awards
AJB DOC I Al Jazeera Balkans Documentary Film Festival 2020 – Bosnie-Herzégovine

Abu Salim – Freedom is not Cheap (Lybia 2016)
The Black Sheep (Lybia 2016)
Remnants (Bosnia 2012)
Isqat Al Nizam (Turkey-Syria 2012)
Niggers (Italy 2009)
Be water, my friend (Uzbekistan 2009)
Pancevo_mrtav grad (Serbia 2007)
Gara de nord_copii pe strada (Romania 2006)