Mâine Mă Duc - Tomorrow I Leave

Mâine Mă Duc - Tomorrow I Leave portrays the life of a woman who always has to leave someone behind. Maria is a 24 hour caregiver. Once every 4 weeks, Maria leaves behind her Romanian village and embarks on a journey of over 1000 kilometres in order to care for elderly people in Austria.

In the meantime, her own aging parents are left to their own device. Her husband Daniel also looks back on many years of hard labour abroad. He now takes charge of the household. Their two sons, however, envisage a completely different future. After 4 weeks Maria returns, yet she is not to stay. One day, she would like to use the money she has earned abroad to open a small bed and breakfast in order to be able to quit traveling.

Mâine Mă Duc - Tomorrow I Leave is a documentary about the hopes and dreams of those who leave and those who remain. It highlights the balancing act between upward social mobility and close family bonds among the backdrop of a torn
 Europe. How much sacrifice does it take to live a comfortable life? Mâine Mă Duc - Tomorrow I Leave is a portrait of a family which is never complete.

Maria Lisa Pichler & Lukas Schöffel

What are you willing to accept in order to have a good life? Maria works as a 24-hour caregiver in Vienna. She sees her family in Ibănesti, a village in Romania, only every other month. Her two sons are growing up in part without her and her parents are actually in need of help. Maria Lisa Pichler and Lukas Schöffel calmly observe the reality of life as a migrant worker. The filmmakers travel with Maria in her car to and from Austria, and observe her as she cares for a woman in Vienna and then spends everyday life in Romania with her family. The film resembles a single, dialectical parallel montage in which the alternating scenes of work abroad and the family life left behind reveal a rampant inequality. The successive images of the well-groomed Austrian woman and Maria’s parents working on their small Romanian farm reverberate. A playful scene gets to the heart of the dilemma in Europe when a friend of Maria’s son films people his own age and asks them what future career they would like. Everyone tells of what their dream job would be and that they would like to pursue this in Romania. But when he asks what would make them want to go abroad, their answer, in unison, is “money.” Where documentary films about existences like Maria’s often overflow with emotion or fatalism, Pichler and Schöffel succeed in bringing about an unobtrusive closeness that creates intimacy. Maria is never shown as a passive victim: she explains and defends herself, demonstrates and fights. A scene filmed casually in front of the family home, in which one son complains to Maria that she is never there, raises the question as to which direction the a se duce (“going”) of the title is meant: to the money or back to the family. For Maria, this question arises every month all over again. (Patrick Holzapfel)

Translation: John Wojtowicz

Orig. Title
Mâine Mă Duc - Tomorrow I Leave
Austria, Romania
75 min
Orig. Language
Romanian, German
German, English
Maria Lisa Pichler, Lukas Schöffel
Lukas Schöffel
Maria Lisa Pichler
Sound Design
Johannes Schmelzer-Ziringer
Lenja Gathmann
Dramaturgical Advisor
Tizza Covi
Colour Correction
Lukas Schöffel
Supported by
Bundesministerium für Kunst, Kultur, öffentlicher Dienst und Sport / Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, the Civil Service and Sport, Wien Kultur MA 7, Cine Styria
Original Sound
Maria Lisa Pichler
Available Formats
DCP 2K scope (Distribution Copy)
Aspect Ratio
2 : 1
Sound Format
5.1 surround
Frame Rate
25 fps
Color Format
Festivals (Selection)
Graz - Diagonale, Festival des österreichischen Films