As always, the star system for reviews seems inappropriate. This film was thoughtful and moving - I learned a lot about the situation in Romania before, during and after WW2, and of course, made connections to the rise of modern day fascism. (Not sure we should call it a rise or modern day, since it never seems to go away). I appreciated the silences built into the movie - they provided time for reflection.
Incredible to see photographs of families happily enjoying a holiday at the beach while a doctor's journal in voiceover testifies about their countrymen being stuffed into cattle cars, starving, suffocating, and drinking each others' urine until the survivors are imprisoned in labor camps. But, in eighty years, has much really changed?
I found this documentary a fascinating and most eloquent essay about WW2 Romania told through speeches, excerpts of the diaries of Emile Dorian and visually through the incredible still photographs of Costica Ascinte. It's beautiful, frightening, heartbreaking and so very timely!
the shuffling of juxtaposition between the (mostly, seemingly) irrelevant (but gorgeous) photos, and the audio track (mostly read from the diary of a Jewish doctor as he watches his people gradually, increasingly terrorized), creates a disorienting, abrasive effect that comes off as an almost antipropaganda, or perhaps a comment on how we gloss over horrors happening around us with shiny happy things...harsh viewing:
A compelling documentary on Romania's dark history, including less-reported genocides such as the Iasi and Bucharest pogroms. Found footage from a studio shows the subsequently forgotten salutes, uniforms and many bared knives of fascist supporters. These type of revelations are occurring throughout Europe, with diaries, photos, schoolbooks and other documents revealing the full complicity of 'nationalist' ancestors.
The combination of sources provides an effective coverage of a very dark period. Certainly timely, since you can hear the same expressed desire to reclaim national identity from foreign infiltration in political discourse today. The photobooth images make a change from the popular depiction of fascism as smartly uniformed, impersonal and monstrous. The notebook commentary keeps our minds on those who remain unseen.
Very nice. The pictures are such a nice representation of life in Romania at the time, and the voiceover reads the heartbreaking journal of a very intelligent jew doctor, which shows a different, more painful, point of view. In contrast, from time to time there are these radio speeches from the time, full of patriotic bullshit. It's so simple and yet so captivating and moving. I loved it.
The idea with the old photos is quite nice. The reading of the diary is boring. Probably reading it would be a more interesting thing to do than watching it being read + photos. I cannot take it anymore. And after reading the Jurnal of Mihail Sebastian, they had it bad, but not that bad as in other parts of Europe. Still, I cannot see another Jew-Holocaust movie anymore. Though Jew-Holocaust movies produce money !!!!
Impresionante relato acerca de la crueldad humana. Rumania ha sido conocido recièn, en el cine, por el dictador Ceausescu pero poco conocìa de su participaciòn en la II Guerra y el apoyo a Hitler en su demencia. La disociaciòn entre las fotos y el diario hacen que sea màs fàcil hacer el proceso de reflexiòn. Un documento muy elaborado acerca de la violencia de unos humanos contra otros, solo por una creencia...
No matter how many incisive documentaries we put into the hopper of human education as icons of bitter reflection, we always see the same folly. Perhaps not always the tectonic damage of WW I and WW II, or even the howling barbarity of scapegoating Jewry into the eventual Holocaust. But, perpetually comforting our amnesia for our most grievous sins as we cheer on a new leader, a new border, a new slogan, a new enemy
A fascinating exercise; simply executed but telling in the semi-random juxtapositions between photographs and narrated journal. It poses questions around the myriad possibilities of associative or connotative meaning of picture and word. Context is everything: is a smiling portrait taken before 1939 a last gasp of innocent hope? Or grinning a year later a case of smug wickedness? Neither or either? Excellent stuff.