The story of Mugur Călinescu, a Romanian teenager who wrote chalk graffiti messages of protest against the regime of dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu and was subsequently apprehended, interrogated, and ultimately crushed by the secret police. Radu Jude's film is a bold hybrid, combining archive documentary with a highly theatrical staging of a ‘documentary play’ by Gianina Carbunariu. [more inside]
I've been watching as many of these as I can get my hands on of late, as they are usually pretty terrific, if extremely bleak and dark. 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days, Graduation, The Death of Mr. Lăzărescu... I'm probably going to be posting a fair number of these over the next few weeks and then wrapping up with an FPP when I run out of films. Anyone who would like to follow along can do so. I'll be posting under the #romanianfilm tag and including links on where to find the films wherever possible. [more inside]
When old Mr. Lazarescu falls ill and needs medical treatment, but modern life has ways of ignoring the old, the sick, and the poor. It will take him all night to die, if anyone is even paying any attention. A dark comedy from Romania. [more inside]
Romeo Aldea is a doctor who regrets having settled in his native Romania, a country still teeming with corruption and back dealings. He channels his ambitions for a better life into his teenage daughter, Eliza, who is just one exam away from securing a scholarship to a prestigious British university. But when Eliza is attacked on the eve of her test, endangering her ability to pass, Romeo takes matters into his own hands to ensure her success. [more inside]
Romania, 1987, the brutal Ceausescu communist regime is in place; birth control is illegal and abortion is a crime punishable by death. Gabita is almost five months into an unwanted pregnancy and in meek desperation turns to her friend and roommate, Otilia for help in organizing an illegal termination. Unfortunate circumstances force the two women to use an unwanted male abortionist, Bebe. [more inside]
In mid-1980s Romania, under the nose of the Securitate, Ceaușescu’s secret police, thousands of Hollywood films were smuggled into the country by an underground operative named Zamfir, and they were all covertly dubbed by Irina Nistor, a courageous translator whose distinct voice captivated the nation and became a symbol of freedom. Chuck Norris vs. Communism is a documentary, a thriller, and a comedy.