Love is not an orange

Expressing your feelings might not come so easily after life pulls you away from your loved ones. But you can send them a box of oranges instead. During 16 years, Olympia was working abroad, period during which she sent home cardboard boxes, which she filled with sweets, clothes, fruits and other gifts. Because of her illegal status she was unable to return home for longer periods. In these circumstances, boxes became a way of communicating with her daughter. This gesture was a ritual among many families. By replacing their presence with material goods, the mothers were trying to make their absence less painful.

Photo by Ursula Müller


Victoria received the first boxes from her mother with great enthusiasm: she recalls vividly the moment she opened a box that contained nothing but oranges. However, after a few years, the joy of receiving the gifts turned into resentment, as none of the objects could replace her mother’s presence. She held on to small things, such as a blouse with her mother's scent.

“Love is not an Orange” is a journey through their memories. Objects and archive images will serve as an exploration tool through which Victoria and Olimpia’s pasts are recalled, making us understand how their connection evolved through the years.

While Victoria moderates her own radio show in which she debates Moldova’s social issues, Olimpia tries to settle back home for good. She wants to catch up for the years of separation and be close to her daughter again. Victoria has her own family now and has difficulties accepting her mother’s presence. Can they recover from their past and share a present together?



Director: Otilia Babara
Producer: Hanne Phlypo

Altfilm (Moldova) - website
4 Proof Film (Romania) - website
Vlaams Audiovisueel Fonds - website