Otto is a bright 17 year-old teenager, lead singer in a punk band and one year away from graduation, who is dealing with the death of his girlfriend Laura. This tragic event, ruled by the police as a suicide, leads to an investigation carried out by the social services, involving both Otto and his family. Otto is trapped in the void space left by Laura. He is caught in a vicious circle created by his parents, his demented old grandpa, Laura’s mother and Laura’s video diary. Otto seems to be a ticking bomb and in order to survive, he needs to face his loss and accept his guilt.
Otto the Barbarian is a psychological drama with the tone of a thriller. This story comes out of feeling lost when facing the future. As a teenager, time expands in a continuous present, with no perspective on the future and no consequences. A steady camera follows Otto, as if documenting his life. The off framed, uneasy, long shots will increase the tension while visceral camera shots will underline the main character’s hidden feelings. Adolescent misplacement is shown through the visual destruction of the grown-ups who are not centered in the frame or appear off camera. The story is revealed in two narrative and visual layers – the video diary footage and the present day. The loneliness of the characters is underlined by the communist ghettos and industrial landscapes of Bucharest.