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Writer & Director: Cristina Dobritoiu  |  Review by Ananya Jana

[dropcap]C[/dropcap]ristina Dobritoiu is an acclaimed film director, producer and writer, who works with different movie genres. Among her amazing works some are The Witness, The Message, The Secret of Happiness, I am what I have learned to be, Octav, Selfie 69 etc.

Destinies is the first episode in a series of documentary films that tells a thrilling story of perseverance and its protagonist is Cristiana Grigore, a researcher at Columbia University who was born in Slatina but spent much her time in the village named Balteni. Later on, she becomes the co-ordinator of Roma Digital Archive. In the 1st year, she moves to New York. Her mixed roots put her in a unique position in her journey. While meeting people, some think she is from India, Latin America, Spain, Italy, and Egypt etc. Throughout the story, Cristiana starts realizing her skin complexion what affects her professional carrier. But through hard work she faces all odds and proves that hard work can overcome any obstacle. But there’s an even bigger story neatly placed in the film. Talent alone can’t win the race; hard work alone can beat the talent. But when talent and hard work go hand in hand, that’s when we as humans reach new heights.

Through Cristiana’s story, the viewer slowly learns that it’s our duty to find out our talents and master them. Nobody will do the work for you, you have to work hard and never give up. But when you focus your time and energy, you’re bound to reap phenomenal rewards.

Celebrating natural talents should be an easy task and it’s something we as society highly value. But for many people, it’s emotionally exhausting, because lots of people fight their talents for one reason or another. We are given the gift of progress for a reason—to use them to the betterment of the world and those who inhabit it. Even more importantly, to grow individually.

Cristiana realizes that even though the odds are against her, her engagement in an activity in which she is naturally talented, fills her with energy, excitement and optimism. She also cleverly realizes that it’s a sign that these are the things she should focus on, rather than what people think about her. We all must hone our natural abilities to perfect ourselves—concentrate on strengths, not on weaknesses. There are only two steps to success: Discover your brilliance and perfect it.

Although a general and highly-valued idea, most of us can probably name only a few people who truly succeed in doing this. That’s why Cristiana’s story is important. To show us, even if it is only a screen, that it is possible. Although she faces many obstacles, Cristiana also meets amazing people like – Patrick Wiley (Archaeology Graduate Student, Yale University), Kathryn Herrera (Programme co-ordinator Columbia University), Wendy Lu (Journalist), Allan Ripp (Journalist), Geraldine Powney (psychology professor at Colombia University), who inspire her to continue and win the race of life. The body complexion should never hinder us from doing amazing things. It’s a spectacle like no other, and the documentary which gets to the heart of the idea is a valuable tool that can help us do the same.

Cristiana Grigore is a fine actor and her appearance makes every scene naturally progressive to the overall plot. The sets are magnificent and the shots and special effects are stunning. Everyone else in the cast is pitch-perfect.

Overall, Destinies is an amazing documentary that can help any dreamer to wake up and turn their dreams into a reality. At the end of the day, no matter the obstacles, we can do what we aspire to; we just must not give up. If we manage to push through, everything else will fit in its place naturally.


Ananya Jana finished her master degree in Journalism and mass communication. She is the event coordinator. She loves to explore different genres of movie. She is a passionate writer and believes that real writing equals authentical writing without the veneer and excuses in order to reach the audience at a heart level. She believes that when she writes she comes alive and the energy zaps. Her passion for writing focuses on character-driven plotlines.

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