Film Forum New York = film-forum-ny

BAMPFA Berkeley CA = bampfa

Seattle, WA = seattle-wa

Lightbox Film Center Philadelphia, PA = lightbox-philadelphia-pa

Arizona Romanian Film Festival = phoenix-az

NOW STREAMING = now_streaming

The Romanians: 30 Years of Cinema Revolution

The U.S. tour of the retrospective kicks off in California at the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) with the 13-film series “Perspectives on History: Romanian Cinema since 1989” running December 6, 2019 – February 27, 2020.

“The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive is happy for the opportunity to collaborate with Making Waves 2019 to celebrate three decades of Romanian cinema. Thirty years after the revolution in Romania these films remain as meaningful as ever as the shadows of totalitarianism and corruption are increasingly evident everywhere and protesters take to the streets around the globe,” notes BAMPFA Associate Film Curator Kate MacKay. “We are especially thrilled that Andrei Ujicā will be coming to Berkeley to present three of his documentaries.”

The program includes some of the best Romanian films made over the last three decades, with a special focus on works concerned with the events of December 1989. “The Romanians” selection is complemented by Radu Muntean’s The Paper will Be Blue, Radu Jude’s “I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians”, and Out of the Present by Andrei Ujică, who will be the special guest of the program.

VenueBAMPFA, 2155 Center Street (between Oxford Street and Shattuck Avenue), Berkeley, CA
Tickets: General Admission – $13; BAMPFA Member – $8; Special rates: $5-9 (see BAMPFA website for details)

The U.S. tour of the retrospective kicks off in California at the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) with the 13-film series “Perspectives on History: Romanian Cinema since 1989” running December 6, 2019 – February 27, 2020.

“The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive is happy for the opportunity to collaborate with Making Waves 2019 to celebrate three decades of Romanian cinema. Thirty years after the revolution in Romania these films remain as meaningful as ever as the shadows of totalitarianism and corruption are increasingly evident everywhere and protesters take to the streets around the globe,” notes BAMPFA Associate Film Curator Kate MacKay. “We are especially thrilled that Andrei Ujicā will be coming to Berkeley to present three of his documentaries.”

The program includes some of the best Romanian films made over the last three decades, with a special focus on works concerned with the events of December 1989. “The Romanians” selection is complemented by Radu Muntean’s The Paper will Be Blue, Radu Jude’s “I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians”, and Out of the Present by Andrei Ujică, who will be the special guest of the program.

VenueBAMPFA, 2155 Center Street (between Oxford Street and Shattuck Avenue), Berkeley, CA
Tickets: General Admission – $13; BAMPFA Member – $8; Special rates: $5-9 (see BAMPFA website for details)

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
Cristian Mungiu. 2007, Romania, 113 min
Winner of the Palme D’Or at Cannes, and one of the masterpieces of the Romanian New Wave, this drama of two friends arranging an illegal abortion in 1980s Romania is marked by formal rigor, exquisite writing and acting, and period detail that perfectly evokes the bleakness of the era. During the final days of communism, college roommates Otilia (Anamaria Marinca) and Găbița (Laura Vasiliu) are busy preparing for a night away. But rather than planning for a holiday, they are making arrangements for Găbița’s illegal abortion, and unwittingly, both find themselves burrowing deep down a rabbit hole filled with revelations. Taking place over the course of a single day, Mungiu’s film is a masterpiece of modern filmmaking, in parts both poignant and shocking.
Showtimes
BAMPFA Berkeley, CA

Dec 06, 2019
07:00 pm

Stuff and Dough
Cristi Puiu. 2001, Romania, 90 min
The “stuff” in this debut feature by The Death of Mr. Lăzărescu and Sieranevada director Cristi Puiu – one of the pioneers of the post-Ceauşescu Romanian filmmaking renaissance – is a satchel full of black-market prescription drugs. The “dough” is 2,000 lei (around $500) promised to small-town teen Ovidiu (Alexandru Papadopol) if he agrees to carry the package to Bucharest on behalf of a local gangster (Răzvan Vasilescu). He does, inviting his slacker friend Vali (Dragoş Bucur) along for the ride, who in turn invites his apathetic girlfriend Bety (Ioana Flora). This unlikely trio then takes to the highway – the hilariously deadpan road movie that results is a reminder that Puiu, who originally had ambitions of becoming a visual artist, has cited a viewing of Jim Jarmusch’s Down by Law as a key event in his decision to pursue filmmaking.
Showtimes
BAMPFA Berkeley, CA

Dec 08, 2019
07:00 pm

The Death of Mr Lăzărescu
Cristi Puiu. 2005, Romania, 154 min
The film that, for many people, signaled the emergence of the new Romanian cinema, Cristi Puiu’s second feature was a revelation at Cannes 2005, where it took top prize in the Un Certain Regard section. A sardonic, darkly humorous, compulsively vibrant feature, The Death of Mr Lăzărescu seems so realistic and convincing, unfolding as though in real time, that it’s hard to believe it was acted. As it follows an ailing retired engineer, too fond of booze, who gets carted from one overtaxed Bucharest hospital to another in search of proper medical care, a whole stressed society is laid bare: Each doctor, nurse, paramedic and patient leaps into view with individuality and articulate self-defensiveness. Compassion and indifference clash, often within the same person. The fluid, mobile camera recalls the great works of Fred Wiseman and John Cassavetes.
Showtimes
BAMPFA Berkeley, CA

Dec 13, 2019
07:00 pm

12:08 East of Bucharest
Corneliu Porumboiu. 2006, Romania, 89 min
Winner of the 2006 Camera D’Or prize, this socio-political satire focuses on a group of characters who commemorate the 16th anniversary of Ceaușescu’s fall on December 22, 2005. “12:08” refers to the exact time of day when Ceaușescu fled, whereas the original Romanian title roughly translates as “Was There or Was There Not?” (a revolution in our town) – the central question being hotly debated throughout the film. What seems like a formally simple and straightforward story is actually a sophisticated and wryly funny reflection on the scope of the 1989 revolution, and how even recent historical events take on different shapes and meanings in explaining or justifying the present.
Showtimes
BAMPFA Berkeley, CA

Dec 15, 2019
07:00 pm

The Oak
Lucian Pintilie. 1992, Romania/France, 105 min
The Oak is an absorbing, complicated black comedy about Romania at the end of the Ceauşescu regime. A young schoolteacher named Nela embarks on a spiritual journey following the death of her father, a former government official, whose ashes she carries with her in a coffee jar. During her wanderings through grotesque and often violent surroundings, she meets Mitică. The couple, like Tristan and Isolde at the gates of the Orient, cannot pursue their love without disruption. A series of events – floods, pollution, Mitică’s arrest, military maneuvers and massacres – split up our heroes, and reveal a backdrop in which nothing works properly and everything seems to be falling apart. NEW 4K RESTORATION

Actress Maia Morgenstern in person (Mar 13, Lightbox Film Center Philadelphia)
Showtimes
BAMPFA Berkeley, CA

Jan 12, 2020
07:00 pm

The State of Things
Stere Gulea. 1995, Romania, 89 min
Stere Gulea’s film seems intent on revealing life’s tragic paradoxes and sad ironies as reflected in recent Romanian history. It is December 21, 1989 and a severely wounded teenager shows up in the middle of the night at the front door of a young nurse. She takes him to a hospital where her fiancé works, only to find the teenager in the hospital’s morgue the following morning, shot in the head. In the chaos that ensues, the couple is pressured into providing fake documents that would absolve the secret police of being responsible for his death, as well as many others. The woman refuses to collaborate and thus her nightmare begins: She is arrested and convicted on a trumped-up charge, and is consequently humiliated, beaten and raped in prison. Her only comfort remains the child she is carrying.
Showtimes
BAMPFA Berkeley, CA

Jan 19, 2020
07:00 pm

Child’s Pose
Călin Peter Netzer. 2013, Romania, 112 min
Winner of the Golden Bear at Berlinale and a box-office hit at home, Netzer’s third film brilliantly deals with the mother of all moral dilemmas – the impossible choice faced by a parent willing to do everything in order to save her son who killed a child in a car accident. The tight script cleverly highlights the tormented relationship between mother and son, as well as the mores (or lack thereof) of the well-connected noveau riche. Playing the domineering yet strangely sympathetic mother – who might be the real victim – Luminița Gheorghiu (the nurse with a heart of gold in The Death of Mr. Lăzărescu) is pitch perfect, walking on an ethical tightrope.
Showtimes
BAMPFA Berkeley, CA

Feb 02, 2020
07:00 pm

Videograms of a Revolution
Andrei Ujică & Harun Farocki. 1992, Germany, 106 min
For Videograms of a Revolution, Andrei Ujică and Harun Farocki collected amateur video and material broadcast by Romanian state television after it was taken over by demonstrators in December 1989. The audio and video represent the first revolution in which television played a major role. The film’s protagonist is contemporary history itself.
"By the end of the week, and the Ceausescus’ executions, nothing is real – or historical – until it is seen on television.” – Michael Atkinson, The Village Voice

Director Andrei Ujica in person (Film Forum, Nov 15, 6:30 pm / BAMPFA, Feb 12)
Showtimes
BAMPFA Berkeley, CA

Feb 12, 2020
07:00 pm

The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceaușescu
Andrei Ujică. 2010, Romania, 180 min
Andrei Ujică’s The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceauşescu is the last installment of the trilogy that started with Videograms of a Revolution and continued with Out of the Present. It’s not a “documentary” or a “docudrama,” but rather a “fiction” feature with real, historical characters. Ujică didn’t shoot a single frame of footage, because everything was already shot. He edited archival material of Ceauşescu and reconstructed his historical journey – a journey that, because we’re dealing with a head of state, formed the very destiny of the state itself. From a formal point of view, The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceauşescu proves that, by solely using existing images, it is possible to yield films focused on recent history with an epic vein similar to the many American fiction films dedicated to the Vietnam War.

Director Andrei Ujică in person (Film Forum, Nov 16 / BAMPFA, Feb 16)
Showtimes
BAMPFA Berkeley, CA

Feb 16, 2020
12:30 pm

Soldiers: A Story from Ferentari
Ivana Mladenović. 2017, Romania/Serbia/Belgium, 119 min
An unexpected romance blossoms between two men in a ramshackle Bucharest neighborhood in this tender, offbeat love story. When Adi, an anthropologist researching regional pop music, meets Alberto, a burly Roma ex-con, the two lonely souls enter into a relationship that tests the societal and moral taboos of their community. Documentarian Ivana Mladenović brings a wonderfully loose-limbed, vérité naturalism to her auspicious narrative debut, based on the eponymous book written by Adrian Schiop, who plays himself in the movie. "Ivana Mladenović’s fiction debut is Romanian social realism with an ethnographic edge, but it’s also a romance between two ostensibly heterosexual men achieving an unexpected bond.” (Screen Daily)
Showtimes
BAMPFA Berkeley, CA

Feb 23, 2020
07:00 pm