Corina, a young girl from an “idyllic” Romanian town, is forced to flee the Communist regime with her family. Losing her father on the first attempt across the border to Yugoslavia leaves her stuck in Ceaucescu’s Romania with just her mother and young brothers bringing uncertainty in the midst of starvation, possible retaliation, and persecution … Finding America, “the land of milk and honey", is the only hope keeping them alive.
CORINA, Tho' The Darkness Falls is a documentary feature film about a young girl of 7yrs in a large Romanian city where practicing anything but the state allowed religion was not allowed. To go against this edict meant facing losing your job, beatings, and any human rights taken away. To go through the government bureaucracy begging for permission to leave would take years if not decades. The only choice possible for freedom was escape. To attempt escape meant crossing a gauntlet set by the the government guards. Being discovered meant having a pack of wolf dogs, which had been starved and raised to kill, let loose on you. It meant beatings and torture only to be thrown in prison or ultimately killed; no matter your age. To find an understanding guard ... impossible for if they allowed a person to escape, the same fate would befall them.
Corina and her family attempted escape twice; once losing her father to an unknown fate and once being captured. Back in Timisoara, the family’s story becomes nationally known due to unnatural and unexplained events that transpired which can only be attributed to the supernatural interventions seen on their way. On the first attempt, in the midst of confusion of which direction to run to get to safety, a being appears to Corina’s older brother leading the way through the thick underbrush, mud canals, and dense forest only to lead them to the same village from which they had left … not one rooster crowing, not one dog barking, as if they were cloaked in silence. On the second attempt, starved wolf dogs uncharacteristically standing over Corina in a thicket, breathing down her neck … but leaving without attack. A cloud suddenly appearing in a clear sky which leads them on the right path to the border. A lieutenant, meant to be beckoned for their undoing, is unable to sleep through the night and instead, feeling a nagging urgency, arrives in the night showing compassion for the young mother and her small children. Through this true story of religious persecution, a mentally ill dictator, and courageous determination, we see a view of a young family tenaciously going after the “promised land … the land of milk and honey” from the oppressive government and darkness of Romania to the exploding lights on the streets of Chicago.