Ani and Sanda are two girls from Maramuresh who grew up with their grandparents. Their parents are working in Spain, like so many other Romanians. When they left, their common project looked promising: with the money earned in Spain they shall build a house in which the whole family will be happy. After more than 10 years, things haven’t turned out as planned, and the big house is far from being finished.
This is a love and hate story built around something no one can see or touch: radio waves. During the 80's, Radio Free Europe was the secret relief and confidant of its Romanian listeners. The Radio was Ceausescu's most important enemy; he even hired Carlos the Jackal to close it down. A strange alliance was thus forged, between a national - communist dictator and the international terrorism. The world has changed - there are different wars now. But if you listen to the voices, you may get a better picture…
Clara's existence is reconstructed by Jonas - a young museum archivist, who discovers a photography and documents' stock, long forgotten in the storage.At first, Jonas doesn't know anything about Clara, just her birth date and place. Clara was born in 1901, in Strasbourg, then part of the German Empire. While he explores and matches images, letters, diary notes, hints found in the administrative archive, Jonas leads us through the 20th Century history. This is a quest of characters in search of identity in Franco-German Alsace; a film about an independent woman's destiny in the middle of war scattered Europe; about friendship and betrayal.
Great Communist Bank Robbery
In 1959, in Romania, six former members of the nomenclature and the Romanian secret police organized a heist of the National Bank. After they were arrested, the state forced them to play themselves in a film reconstructing the crime and the investigation. At the end of their trial, filmed live, they are sentenced to death and executed. A month later, the "Reconstruction" was released and became a sensation throughout the county. Today, Alexandru Solomon retraces this incredible story.
Apocalypse on Wheels
This is a film about what the car traffic turns us into. For 5 months the director in the passenger seat accompanies five ordinary people (A half paralyzed man who not only drives a car, but he also helps other people to avail themselves of cars; Peruvian woman, who was been raised in a city with an equally crazed traffic; a father who has recently lost his daughter in a traffic accident; a policeman who was beaten up by the militia before December 1989) on their every day journeys around the capital.
A Dog's Life
Although today nobody seems to watch over Romania, Bucharest certainly is a city full of dogs. Here, man and dog are two species intimately mingled into one another like the damned souls of Dante’s inferno. Here, the human-eyed dog daily confronts the dog-eyed human. Our city has a population of over 200,000 dogs. There are rich and poor dogs, dogs of the street and dogs that go to the hairdresser. This film documents the life of this parallel society, which is a mirror of the human society in Bucharest.
The King of Communism: The Pomp & Pageantry of Nicolae Ceausescu
Nicolae Ceausescu created a unique personality cult in the 1970s and 1980s, transforming communist Romania into one of the strangest regimes Europe has ever seen. Newspapers had to mention his name 40 times on every page, factory workers spent months rehearsing dance routines dressed as soldiers and gymnasts for huge shows at which thousands of citizens were lined up to form the words Nicolae Ceausescu with their bodies. Using Ceausescu's own archive of 35mm propaganda films, King of Communism offers a surprising and chilling view of the absurd world of the Romanian dictator's regime.
The Man With Thousand Eyes
The movie regards Iosif Berman, who is known as one of the most famous photo - reporters of it’s time, who lived in Romania from 1890 to 1941; it’s a movie about life being compressed in the photo’s that reflect his destiny.
Kapitalism - Our Improved Formula
Alexandru Solomon invites Ceausescu to revisit Romania, 20 years after he has been executed. The dictator haunts present-day capitalist society, emerged in the Wild East and often deeply rooted in its communist past. The film offers incredible access to top magnates – at home, in their offices and in their minds – building a bitter-sweet portrait of a new ruling class. Capitalism with a K – an Eastern European cocktail of power and money. This is now part of Greater Europe. Unavoidable!
The Sweet Bread of Exile
Caragiale is the first Romanian great author to have left the country. During the last century so many others have tasted the bread of exile: Eugen Ionesco, Brancusi, Tristan Tzara became international personalities, integrated in the culture of their adoptive countries. This does not hold true for Caragiale, the greatest Romanian comic author. Fed up with Romania, he left his country and lived in Berlin from 1904 to 1912. He moved to an environment that represented the opposite of his cultural, social and even his human personality. The story of his exile is that of the East meeting the West, located in a town that directly experienced this kind of split. One hundred years after Caragiale, history accentuated the break-up of these two parts of Europe. This is a documentary that moots the very possibility of reconstructing a time and a world. Today, Bucharest – just as Berlin – is a devastated city striving to regain its identity. Very few things in Berlin remind today of the metropolis from the beginning of the twentieth century. The final scene of Caragiale’s destiny seems to have been written by the great satiric author himself. After his death, the body was sealed in a coffin and sent to Romania by train, where a state funeral awaited it. But the car got lost for several days on the way and reached Bucharest after long rambles. This spirit – that could not find his place in Europe – is the main character of a film about our place in the world.
The Zurich Chronicle
Romanian artists went to Zurich to invent Dada movement, 1916-1918. In 1916, the Dada movement was born in Zurich with the contribution of three Romanian born artists: Tristan Tzara, Marcel Janco and Arthur Segal. Filmed in Zurich, in some of the most important dada archives in the world, this documentary draws an ironic portrait of the city in contrast with the athmosphere of the Dada events. A substantial interview with Guido Magnaguagno, deputy director of Kunsthaus Zurich, accompanies the fresh visual flow.
Shriek Into The Ear-Drum
A visual essay on Romanian avant-garde. From the birth of the Dada movement, passing to futurism and constructivism until the last manifestations of surrealism, this film follows the development of Romanian avantgarde. Unknown documents from private archives and a selection from the great Bucharest exhibition made in 1993 are combined in an unconventional collage that gives a kaleidoscopic image of avantgarde. Romanian art and litterature at a time when it was really developing at a European level.
On the outskirts of Sukhum, capital of the separatist Republic of Abkhazia, lies the Institute for Experimental Pathology and Therapy. Among dilapidated buildings housing derelict laboratories, lives a population of a few hundreds of monkeys, caged in poor conditions. The subtropical vegetation and the picturesque hillside overlooking the Black Sea beautify an overall depressing picture. This place could be paradise, if it weren’t wounded by its recent history. But inside the ruined buildings, the staff is performing medical research on monkeys, experiments that deal, to say the least, with some of humanity’s biggest issues: survival in outer space, healing some of the most terrible diseases and prolongation of life. And they have been doing this for the past 90 years... From this contrast, a film is about to be born. The first apes arrived in Sukhum on August 24, 1927. They were sent there on the initiative of Ilya Ivanovich Ivanov and a group of Soviet fellow-scientists. Ivanov, a well-known specialist in artificial insemination and hybridization, was obsessed with obtaining an offspring from Man and Ape. Ivanov found political support for his experiments, since these promised to be THE definitive argument for Evolution and a major stroke against Religion and the power of the Church among Russian population. This is how the world’s first ever primate testing center was established. Today, the site is listed as a tourist attraction on the Abkhazian government’s site as the „Monkey Colony”, without mentioning that this is the symbolic reminder of several utopias nowadays deeply questioned or simply ruined: Communism, the conquest of the Universe and Man’s ability to dominate Nature.
Being Father Elvis
Father Elvis is the story of Antoniu Petrescu, a catholic priest born in Romania who lives in a little town near L’Aquila, in Italy. But Antoniu Petrescu is not a common priest: he’s also the first priest-Elvis Presley's impersonator in the wolrld. On one side he is a catholic priest, carrying out his normal priestly functions, but on the other side he is a rocker,a fan,and a dedicated impersonator. We would like to follow Father Elvis as he follows his biggest dream: to realize a true rock'n'roll tour of United States before setting in the city of Memphis to be a priest. But his dream will affect his role as a priest? How catholic church and his community are going to react to his dual role as a priest/impersonator? What will Father Elvis go to in order to maintain his double-sided role?
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