Framing the Change: A Retrospective of Contemporary Romanian Documentary Film

26/04 - 31/07/2021 @ online | Website, Facebook page and YouTube channel

Following the acclaimed international success of recent Romanian documentaries, RCI London is launching Framing the Change - A retrospective of contemporary Romanian documentary film. The formidable and thoughtful selection of films is a premiere for Great Britain and hopefully, an enlightening, inspiring and entertaining experience for an international audience, festival zealots, cinephiles and everyone interested in Romanian documentaries.

The retrospective is a direct window into the Romanian universe of the past two decades, capturing the extraordinary societal forces which are shaping the country. Some of the themes are recurring in modern day society: the compatibility between religious and secular viewpoints, children who are growing up alone, while their parents have emigrated in the West or concepts on home schooling and education. Another strand is represented by films on topics connected to communism and the different ways in which the regime impacted day to day life. The programme also includes films that are personal introspectives into the directors’ life or that discover the history of a community, as well as films that define their authors’ work. The selection also reflects the variety of styles and approaches in Romanian documentary films.

Taking place from 26 April to 31 July 2021, Framing the Change is the result of an outstanding Romanian-British tandem: Astra Film Festival and One World Romania, two of the oldest and most popular Romanian festivals and Sheffield Doc Fest and Open City Documentary Festival, two of the largest and well-known British festivals have joined forces at the RCI’s initiative.

The retrospective will be opened by a panel discussion with Adina Marin (Astra Film Festival programmer), Andrei Rus (artistic director One World Romania), Cíntia Gil (director Sheffield Doc Fest) and Michael Stewart (director Open City Docs), moderated by Jonathan Romney (writer @ Film Comment Magazine, Sight & Sound Magazine, Observer New Review, Screen Daily).

Programme:

First half - selection made by Adina Marin (Astra Film Festival)

26 April, 19.00 | RCI London’s Facebook page, YouTube channel & website | free
Discussion on the last two decades of the Romanian documentary: Adina Marin, Andrei Rus, Cíntia Gil, Michael Stewart and Jonathan Romney. Introduction by Magda Stroe, acting director RCI London.
Click here to watch the discussion.

28 April, 19.00 | RCI London’s Facebook page, YouTube channel & website | free
Screening On the Road / La drum, directed by Dumitru Budrala
On the Road is the first observational Romanian documentary which tells the story of the shepherds from the Carpathian mountains going every winter, kilometres away from home, in transhumance.

Click here to watch the film (available until 31 July 2021).

29 April, 19.00 | Barbican Cinema On Demand | £5 | available only in the UK until 30 April
Screening Acasa, My Home / Acasă, directed by Radu Ciorniciuc
After 25 years of living in the marsh of the Bucharest Delta, one family is forced to move to the city in Bucharest, where a whole new world awaits. The film will be screened as part of the Chronic Youth Festival at Barbican Centre (1-30 April).

4 May, 19.00 | RCI London’s Facebook page, YouTube channel & website | free | available until 31 July
Screening Home Alone - A Romanian Tragedy, directed by Ionut Carpatorea
The story of over 350,000 Romanian children, left "alone at home" whilst one or both parents went to work in Italy, Spain or other Western countries. The observational style is combined with interviews whose protagonists are the children's parents.
Click here to watch the film (available until 31 July 2021).

5 May, 19.00 | RCI London’s Facebook page | free | available for 5 days (until 10 May, 19.00)
Screening My Beautiful Dacia / Dacia, dragostea mea, directed by Julio Soto & Ștefan Constantinescu
An extravagant and humoristic odyssey from Communism to Capitalism as seen from the perspective of one of Romania's most charismatic symbols, the Dacia automobile. The film follows several Romanians - from rich to poor, from old to young - whose lives are interconnected by this humble car, thus showing the present transformation of Romanian society from past to present. Can this car be the answer to Romania's social changes?
Click here to watch the film (available until 10 May 2021).

 

7 May, 19.00 | RCI London’s Facebook page, YouTube channel & website | free | available until 31 July
Screening Children of the Decree/ Născuți la comandă. Decrețeii, directed by Florin Iepan
The documentary presents the story of the decree no. 770 for the regulation of the termination of pregnancy, from 1966, transformed into law. Director’s statement: “Two million Romanians were born because of this decree, including me, you and so many others(…). Ultimately, it's about the birth of my generation."

13 May, 19.00 | RCI London’s Facebook page | free | available only in the UK until 13 June
Screening Tarzan’s Testicles / Ouăle lui Tarzan, directed by Alexandru Solomon
A film about utopias and a metaphoric drama that threads the similar destinies of monkeys and men. The documentary is a scientific utopia based on the creation of a hybrid between man and monkey, an experiment tried in Abkhazia in 1927.

20 May, 19.00 | RCI London’s Facebook page, YouTube channel & website | free | available until 31 July:
Screening The Curse of the Hedgehog / Blestemul ariciului, directed by Dumitru Budrala
One of the most valuable Romanian documentaries, it explores the daily reality of a poor Roma family, penetrating the life and mentality of these people beyond the superficial image projected by the press. The film captures the harsh reality of the pilgrimage from one village to another, in the struggle for survival.

26 May, 19.00 | RCI London’s Facebook page | free | available only in the UK until 31 July
Screening Aliyah DaDa, directed by Oana Giurgiu
The title of the film has two meanings: Aliya represents the emigration of Jews to Israel, and DaDa refers to Dadaism, an artistic current that emerged after the First World War.

28 May, 19.00 | RCI London’s Facebook page | free | available only in the UK for 48h
Screening Trading Germans / Pașaport de Germania, directed by Răzvan Georgescu
The film tells the story of the largest human trade in twentieth-century Europe: the organized, systematic sale of a large part of the German population from Romania to the Federal Republic of Germany. A focus on the personal (hi)stories of those directly affected by this transfer.

5 June, 19.00 | RCI London’s Facebook page | free | available only in the UK for 48h
Screening I made you, I kill you / Eu te-am făcut, eu te omor, directed by Alexandru Petru Bădeliță
A personal confession of a traumatic childhood, dominated by domestic violence, a common recurrence in certain levels of Romanian society. Through several voice-over stories and the interpretation of memories through cartoons and family pictures, the film combines a narrative that emphasizes that in this realm domestic violence as a standard rather than an anomaly.

5 June, 19.15 | RCI London’s Facebook page | free | available only in the UK for 48h
Screening Teach’ / Profu’, directed by Alex Brendea
The film depicts the story of Dorin Ioniță, a maths teacher from Bistrița (northern Transylvania), who left the system 10 years ago and arranged a class for private lessons in his own house. He has taught for more than 20 years in public schools and transformed his own apartment into a classroom, equipped with chairs, benches and even a blackboard.

9 June, 19.00 | RCI London’s Facebook page | free | available only in the UK until 31 July
Screening Teodora the Sinner / Păcătoasa Teodora, directed by Anca Hirte
Filmed in 2010 at the Văratec Monastery (north-east Romania), the film narrates the story of a 24-year-old woman in the ritual of becoming a nun and the monastic atmosphere is revealed to the viewer as seen through her eyes. Her decision to break away from the world must be ultimately understood as a love story.

12 June, 19.00 | RCI London’s Facebook page | free | available only in the UK for 48h
Screening Holy Father / Tatăl nostru, directed by Andrei Dăscălescu
The filmmaker (Andrei) and his girlfriend (Paula) face the news of becoming parents. While the future mother is struggling with no worthy role models in her broken family, the soon-to-be father must come to terms with his own, long-lost father, now a monk on Mount Athos. Andrei’s visits to the monastery seek to solve the mystery of his father’s leaving the family when Andrei was only six.

Second half - selection made by Andrei Rus (One World Romania)
Films, guests & events are currently being confirmed, please watch this space.

All films have English subtitles.
You do not need a Facebook account to watch - FB is simply a platform.

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