- Playwright Matei Vișniec, architect Dorin Ștefan and mayor Octavia Ursu, among the speakers
30 years have gone by since, in the midst of a blood-soaked revolution, people chanted “We will die and we will be free!”. Three decades since the startling fall of communism in Romania. Les Films de Cannes à Bucarest launches a call for remembrance of the historical event through the camera lens and includes in the program some of the most striking works that tackle the last days of the communist regime, as well as a conference on this topic.
The Romania. 30 years later section will commence one day before the festival starts.
Thursday, 17th October, starting 6:30pm, the public is invited to Union Cinematheque to see the screenings of Cornel Mihalache’s On Christmas Day We Took Our Ration of Freedom and Andrei Ujică and Harun Farocki’s Videograms of a Revolution.
The screenings will be followed, starting 8:30pm, by the discussion: Romania. 30 years later. Along with the directors of the two films, playwright Matei Vișniec, architect Dorin Ștefan and Octavian Ursu, the German citizen of Romanian origin recently elected as mayor in Görlitz, Germany, will also join in on the discussion.
The project is realized in partnership with Freedom House Romania, in the contect of the “Learning from Our Past to Build the Future” programme, supported by Europa liberă, and with the participation of the Representation of the European Commission in Romania. Entrance to the screenings and discussions in this section is free subjected to availability, however, reservations made in advance on Eventbook.ro take priority.
In Bucharest, at Instituto Cervantes, the films will screen as follows: Snow White and the Seven Mineriads (Friday, 28th October, in the presence of the director Cornel Mihalache), The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu (Sunday, 20th October, in the presence of the director Andrei Ujică), The Paper Will Be Blue (Friday, 25th October, in the presence of the director Radu Muntean and screenwriter Alex Baciu), and the late Ovidiu Bose Paștină’s film Timisoara. December 89 will screen Monday, 21st October at Horia Bernea theater, Peasant Museum Cinema.
Some of these films will be screened with free entrance at the local editions of Les Films de Cannes à Timișoara, Iași, Cluj, Brașov and Suceava, in the presence of the filmmakers, as well.
OCTAVIAN URSU, graduated from the Conservatoire in Bucharest and moved to Germany in 1990 as an instrumentalist-soloist (trumpet) at the Neue Lausitzer Philharmonic in Görlitz. Ursu then joined the conservatory party CDU IN 2009. In 2014, he was elected in the federal land Saxonia legislative body, and then he was elected as mayor of this town in Eastern Germany.
MATEI VIȘNIEC, poet, playwright and journalist, perceived as an ‘80s postmodern censored by the communist regime, was forced to emigrate to France where he requested political asylum and where, starting 1992, his plays were published in French. In the Observatorul cultural magazine, the writer related: “I wrote the history of communism as a story for the mentally ill. The Western world never really grasped the communist utopia. But the play is necessary for the Romanian youth, too, they have no idea about the brain washing, the pressure on the individual, the void hiding behind the big party slogans.”
DORIN ȘTEFAN is one of the most respected and reputable Romanian architects, member of the Romanian Order of Architects, former commissioner for Romania at the Venice Architecture Biennale, professor at the University of Architecture and Urbanism Ion Mincu in Bucharest, and, among others, the restorer of the Brancusi complex in Targu Jiu.
ON CHRISTMAS DAY WE TOOK OUR RATION OF FREEDOM by Cătălina Fernoagă and Cornel Mihalache
The filmmakers, students at the time, capture the atmosphere looming over Romania, a few days right after the Revolution in December. The film received several awards and prizes: The Romania Filmmakers Union’s Opera Prima (1990); Best Debut and “Vox Juventutis” offered by the Ministry of Culture at Costinesti (1990), the “Sesterce d’argent” prize at the Nyon International Documentary Film Festival, Switzerland (1990); the grand prize at the Tampere International Short Film Fetsival, Finland (1991); the Special Jury Prize at DaKINO (1991).
VIDEOGRAMS OF A REVOLUTION by Andrei Ujică and Harun Farocki
An unnerving analysis on the role of the television during the Romanian Revolution in 1989. There is only one morale: in order to grasp the political power, you first need to control the television. “Television not only documented and reflected upon historical events, but it also contributed in their being shaped. Farocki and Ujică call for reflection on this topic, as well as for the questioning of the relationship between, on the one hand, the visibility recording, rendering and distance-transmittal technologies can offer an event, and, on the other hand, the comprehensibility of the said event.” Andrei Gorzo – Liternet
The film can be seen in the presence of the author at Cinema Victoria in Cluj, as well, at Les Films de Cannes à Cluj, on 19th October.
TIMISOARA, DECEMBER 1989 by Ovidiu Bose Paștină
“The enfant terrible of Suhaia Studio”, Ovidiu Bose Paștină started making documentary films in 1981. Shot in 1990, the film was awarded the Grand Prize of the Dokumentar Neubrandemburg Film Festival, was presented under the Forum section of the Berlin and München Film Festivals, earned the Best Documentary Film prize at Costinesti, and was selected among the first 15 documentary films in the world at the Yamagata Film Festival, Japan.
Timisoara, December 1989 will screen on 18th October, at Aula Magna of the West University of Timisoara, during Les Films de Cannes à Timișoara.
THE AUTOBRIOGRAPHY OF NICOLAEU CEAUSESCU by Andrei Ujică
“A cinematic tour de force that tracks the rise, reign and grim fall of its subject.” New York Times. The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu (2010) puts an end to Andrei Ujică’s end-of-communism trilogy, started by Videograms of a Revolution, and continued with Out of the Present.
Andrei Ujică worked for four years on this documentary, which explores the image of the former dictator, since his coming into power until the Revolution. He used materials in the National Film Archive, the Romanian Television archive and some amateur bits, all official recordings, which totalled up thousands of hours of footage, out of which the director says he watched around 250. Internationally acclaimed as a masterpiece of assemblage film, The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu was part of the Official Selection at Cannes Film Festival, in 2010.
THE PAPER WILL BE BLUE by Radu Muntean
Costi has three months left until he finishes his mandatory military service, but ends up in the midst of the confusing events during the Romanian Revolution in 1989. The young man, who is part of Lt. Neagu’s patrol, decides to split up from his Militia colleagues and fight along with the revolutionaries. Winner of the Jury Prize at Namur and nominated for the Golden Leopard at Locarno and for the Grand Prize at Warsaw.
“This compelling movie by Radu Muntean has the feel of certain films that have come out of the Balkans. As with those films, the immediate theme is the chaos and sometimes random violence that came as knock-on effects of the fall of the Soviet Union. But the larger theme is one that has been noted before on these pages—the absurdity that arises in the heat of war.” Scottsmovies.com
SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN MINERIADS by Cornel Mihalache
The Romanian Television production goes behind the scenes of one of the most aggressive social movements in Romanian contemporary history: the mineriads. The mineriads were brief social movements, of violent nature, which turned the Romanian socio-political scene upside down. With different motivations, goals, periods, and developments, the mineriads have one common element, namely dislocating the miners from Valea Jiului in the capital, as well as the fact that, misinformed and manipulated by political or union leaders with agendas in the political sphere, the participants served, voluntarily or not, different aims far from what the mass of workers really wanted.
The film can be seen, in the presence of the director, at Les Films de Cannes à Brașov, too, on 24th October, and at Les Films de Cannes à Suceava, on 2nd November.
Under the Romania. 30 years later section, at Iasi, there will be a special screening of the film CHUCK NORRIS VS. COMMUNISM, directed by Ilinca Calugareanu, with an introduction by Irina Margareta Nistor.
CHUCK NORRIS VS. COMMUNISM by Ilinca Calugareanu
In ‘80s Romania, thousands of Western films flooded through the Iron Curtain and opened a window towards the free world to anyone who wanted to watch. A businessman on VHS cassettes black market and one brave dubber brought the magic of normal people films, kindling the revolutionary spark. Present in the official selection at Sundance 2015 and Hot Docs 2015, “Stylish, breezily entertaining documentary explores the little-known role played by Hollywood movies – and one heroic film dubber – in toppling Romanian communism.” Variety
The film can be seen at Les Films de Cannes à Iași, too, on 19th October, at 12:30pm, at Atheneum Cinema.
Freedom House Romania introduces, on this occasion, “Learning from Our Past to Build the Future”, an educational programme about authoritarian regimes, meant to raise civic involvement and the support for democratic systems among the youth. Dedicated to all university students, all over the country, “Learning from Our Past to Build the Future” will invite students to join a summer school in July 2020, at Sighet.
The complete program of the tenth edition of Les Films de Cannes à Bucarest is available on the site.
At PRO Cinema, Elvire Popesco Cinema, Peasant Museum Cinema, Romanian National Museum of Art – Auditorium Hall, the tickets prices are 15 lei for tickets purchased by 18thOctober and 20 lei for tickets purchased during the festival (18th – 27th October 2019). At Union Cinematheque tickets cost 10 lei or 8, 5, 3 lei for subscription holders.
Tickets can be purchased from Eventbook.ro, the Eventbook headquarters in Actor Ion Brezoianu Street 21, the Eventbook network and from the cash desks of Elvire Popesco Cinema, Peasant Museum Cinema and Union Cinematheque. More details about tickets can be found on the site.
Keep up to date with the latest news regarding the tenth edition of Les Films de Cannes à Bucarest, on the official website filmedefestival.ro and on the official Facebook page.
Les Films de Cannes à Bucarest is presented by Orange Romania, a traditional partner of the event.
Official Car of the Festival: Renault.
With the support of: Catena, Apa Nova, Groupama Asigurări.
The tenth edition of Les Films de Cannes à Bucarest is organized by the Cinemascop Association and Voodoo Films, in partnership with Embassy of France and the French Institute in Bucharest.
Les Films de Cannes à Bucarest is a cultural project financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Identity, the National Centre of Cinematography, and and realized with the support of SACD / Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques.
Partners: Air France, KLM, The Romanian Cultural Institute, Europa Cinemas, Hotel Mercure, SERVE, UPS, Eventbook.
Media partners: Radio România Cultural, Zile și Nopți, Elle, Observatorul Cultural, News.ro, Ziarul Metropolis, AaRC, Movienews, Igloo, Banchiza Urbană, FilmNewEurope, Cineghid, Cinemap, Agerpres, Liternet, FilmMenu.
Media coverage partner: Mediatrust