Romania

Mircea Dragan – Columna AKA The Column (1968)

The Roman Emperor Trajan has just murdered all the local men of Dacia and holds a military stronghold in what will later become Rumania. He places a Roman centurion in his place to occupy his latest conquest. After lopping off the head of the Dacian warlord, the soldier uses his blood-stained hands to dine on cheese and bread, unable to suppress his laughter. The centurion has a change of heart when he is put in charge of the region, freely dispensing justice and forgiveness to the conquered inhabitants. When the peace is threatened by marauding barbarians in masks of fur, the locals help the Romans fend off the invasion. Read More »

Mircea Daneliuc – Proba de microfon AKA Microphone Test (1980)

An uncompromising and prolific auteur whose battles with censorship during the Communist era are legendary, Mircea Daneliuc doubles as director and star of Microphone Test, a pivotal film in Romanian cinema and a direct reference point for the future New Wave. The film’s protagonist, Nelu (Daneliuc), is a TV cameraman who falls for Ani, one of his interview subjects for a feature on misdemeanour offenders who have been caught on trains without a ticket. Unemployed and without a fixed address, Ani is the quintessential undesirable, an outcast in a society rigidly controlled by state-imposed morals. As Nelu finds himself torn between his casual but stable relationship with his colleague Luiza and his intense attraction to Ani, Microphone Test paints a raw and heart-wrenching portrait of personal liberation versus social(ist) conformity. Read More »

Cristian Mungiu – Occident AKA West (2002)

Quote:
Occident is a bittersweet comedy that focuses on the growing tendency of Eastern European youth to migrate west. When the amicable Luci (Alexandru Papadopol) and his beautiful lover Sorina (Anca Androne) are evicted from their apartment, Sorina decides they must visit her father’s grave and ask for a “sign”. Seconds later, Luci is hit in the head by a bottle and taken to the hospital by a Frenchman. Despite her love for Luci, Sorina believes a life with security takes precedence over romance, and moves in with the good samaritan. Read More »

Radu Jude – Film pentru prieteni AKA A Film for Friends (2011)

Quote:
Considering that his life is a failure, a man records himself leaving a video-message to his loved ones. After this message, which tackles, in funny and sad ways, a lot of issues, both personal and social, he shoots himself in the head. But he fails. And what follows is the a ridiculous and horrific agony, that probably changes the characters’ vision about life… A film done basically in one single shot. Read More »

Radu Jude – Cele Doua Executii Ale Maresalului AKA The Marshal’s Two Executions (2018)

The films confronts two different views of the execution of General Ion Antonescu, Romania’s leader during the Second World War. On one side is silent black-and-white footage of the execution as recorded in 1946 by cameraman Ovidiu Gologanl; on the other are scenes from a biographical film shot in 1994 by director Sergiu Nicolaescu. Read More »

Cristi Puiu – Aurora (2010)

Quote:
“There is no such thing as a murderer, only people who kill.” With these words director Cristi Puiu qualifies his careful study of contemporary Romanian society and of fatal acts such as murder. The film focuses on 42-year-old Viorel who is going through a gloomy period of life that leads him to the point of killing without it being clear whether or not it’s his divorce and his conflict with loved ones provoking him to open fire. The film attempts to demystify the act of murder, rendering it as something in no way spectacular, just as there is nothing remarkable about a person who commits murder. Read More »

Radu Jude – Îmi este indiferent daca în istorie vom intra ca barbari AKA I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians (2018) (HD)

Synopsis
“I do not care if we go down in history as barbarians.” These words, spoken in the Council of Ministers of the summer of 1941, started the ethnic cleansing on the Eastern Front. Radu Jude’s resonant feature chronicles a young theatre director’s efforts to stage an accurate re-enactment of the Odessa Massacre in which Romanian soldiers slaughtered tens of thousands of Ukrainian Jews despite the municipal government’s attempts to censor her. Read More »