For a better experience on MUBI, update your browser.

Recent Romanian Cinema

by Erik Villasenor
Whether portraying ordinary life during or after the repressive Ceauşescu era, the highly acclaimed Romanian New Wave details a world tinted gray. But in that shade, the filmmakers find amazing nuance, further enlivened by black humor and unexpected narrative lines. Long nights when ambulances don’t arrive or doctors barter over providing care; officials who can’t answer a question directly but are adept at manufacturing news photos; and police who add new letters to the law: all of these exist within a landscape that is literally falling apart. It is a state of affairs that produced fear but also ingenuity under the dictatorship, and that… Read more

Whether portraying ordinary life during or after the repressive Ceauşescu era, the highly acclaimed Romanian New Wave details a world tinted gray. But in that shade, the filmmakers find amazing nuance, further enlivened by black humor and unexpected narrative lines. Long nights when ambulances don’t arrive or doctors barter over providing care; officials who can’t answer a question directly but are adept at manufacturing news photos; and police who add new letters to the law: all of these exist within a landscape that is literally falling apart. It is a state of affairs that produced fear but also ingenuity under the dictatorship, and that is a wellspring of absurdist comedy even as it drains the color from life today. The style of these films is often minimal; the impact is anything but. As A. O. Scott wrote in the New York Times, “there is an almost palpable impulse to tell the truth, to present choices, conflicts, and accidents without exaggeration or omission. This is a form of realism, of course, but its motivation seems to be as much ethical as aesthetic, less a matter of verisimilitude than of honesty.” -Kathy Geritz

link

Read less