A young Romanian girl struggles to adapt to her new home in Canada and longs for her former, familiar life back. Remaining Lives, from director Luiza Cocora, screens in Short Cuts Programme 5 at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.

Childhood is tough enough without being in a new land far away from members of your family and navigating through changes that you do not understand.  Remaining Lives paints an accurate and intimate picture of this as we follow a young girl who tries to make sense of envelopes from her father that don’t contain letters, her mother’s new friend, and how her questions of going home are always eluded.

This is a detailed and complex immigrant story, and so much is presented to the audience by director Luiza Cocora within such a small window of time. She utilizes every word and silence in between, painting a picture of loneliness, incomprehension, and the delicate relationship between mother and daughter.  Cocora does a great job of weaving it all together, her seemingly simple story leaving much for audiences to contemplate.