Cobbled together from various internet sources:
“Sergiu Nicolaescu was born on the 13th of April 1930, in Targu-Jiu, Romania. In his childhood, he spent a lot of time at the cinema. He was inspired by the films he saw 2 or 3 times, and he played “war” or “mystery” games with 30 fellow kids in the suburbs of his native town. After finishing high school, Nicolaescu was accepted by three colleges. He finally attended the Romanian Marine Corps. His father was an engineer, he worked for King Michael. Therefore, after the King’s abdication in 1947, his father was arrested. Nicolaescu entered the realm of cinematography by chance. A friend offered him a job in the Bucharest Studios of that time. He didn’t expect a career in directing, but his short poetic movie called Memoria trandafirului earned some attention at the 1962 Cannes Film Festival.
In 1967,Dacii (1967) became the first Romanian hit-movie in Western Europe. Subsequently, Nicolaescu was internationally appreciated as a worthwhile historical films director. He had the privilege to work in France, Germany and other countries on several projects in the seventies and eighties. He directed Mihai Viteazul (Michael the Brave, 1970) and Atunci i-am condamnat pe toti la moarte (Then I Sentenced Them All to Death, 1972), two of the best Romanian movies ever. He also was responsible for such indigenous blockbusters as Nemuritorii (1974),Cu mîinile curate (1972),Noi, cei din linia întîi (1985) and Mircea (1989). Nea Marin miliardar (1981) is his only comedy to date.
Most of Nicolaescu’s movies are centered on figures and events in Romanian history. The scripts are conceived to promote the figure or the event, and usually convey nationalist messages. During the Communist period, some of his movies were seen as ground-breaking through their way of publicly presenting Romanian history, while other have been considered as simple nationalist propaganda. For instance, the movie “Războiul independenţei” was the first Communist-era Romanian file to present a Romanian king (namely Carol I) in a positive fashion. On the other hand, Mircea (1989, also known as Proud Heritage) is often considered as a pure propaganda movie, including elements of personality cult and a legendary, standardised version of reality. Nevertheless, Mircea was officially blocked from distribution, until the Romanian Revolution of 1989 (All I’ve done was to present a differet state leader than Ceauşescu. He understood and stopped the movie ). After the latter, Nicolaescu expanded on nationalist themes, directing films that shed a positive light on Ion Antonescu, Romania’s Axis-aligned dictator in the World War II period (his Începutul adevărului, also known as Oglinda), or glorified the World War I heroine Ecaterina Teodoroiu (Triunghiul morţii, “Triangle of Death”); in both cases, part of the script was contributed by Corneliu Vadim Tudor, leader of the nationalist Greater Romania Party.
After the Romanian Revolution (1989), Nicolaescu began a career as a politician, and he was elected to the Romanian Senate in 1992 as a member of the Romanian Social Democratic Party. He has continued to direct movies. Without the assistance of the military, he couldn’t complete as many epics as he did back in the Communist era. Oglinda (1993) and Triunghiul mortii (1999) were well-received at the box-office. A “Steven Spielberg of the Romanian cinema”, Nicolaescu is a self-taught technician and, sometimes, an artist who approached various genres and themes. Indeed, most of his films have an evident commercial tinge, but despite new voices that question his talent, ethics or even his professionalism, Sergiu is still appreciated by most(?) of the Romanian moviegoers.
Although his recent films have not been as popular as his earlier productions, he continues to direct new films, such as Orient Express (2004) or Cincisprezece (2005), a love story set against the background of the 1989 Revolution." — taken from the wiki, imdb, and some weird biography site
1,307 people have Liked him on Facebook.
Nicolaescu provokes reactions ranging from indifference to hostility to nationalistic pride. He raises the interesting question (to me, at least) of how left-leaning Westerners should view a man whose entire career was officially sanctioned by his Communist government. Please discuss.
Two new director introductions, both about directors who have been senators.
Powerful orchestration and cinematography!