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

With the current pandemic closing cinemas all over the world, the U.S. Tour of the retrospective is on hold. But we bring you now many of the series titles on VOD. Enjoy and hopefully we can return soon to the joy of sharing the experience of seeing the films on the big screen in company.

Making Waves proudly presents a 15-film selection of the retrospective, with many of these titles available for the first time online for wider U.S. audiences. Select titles are available in other territories as well, thus expanding the outreach of the retrospective, so please check on the film’s page if it’s available in your country.

You can rent them to watch for 72 hours, or purchase these titles to watch at any time in the future.

With the current pandemic closing cinemas all over the world, the U.S. Tour of the retrospective is on hold. But we bring you now many of the series titles on VOD. Enjoy and hopefully we can return soon to the joy of sharing the experience of seeing the films on the big screen in company.

Making Waves proudly presents a 15-film selection of the retrospective, with many of these titles available for the first time online for wider U.S. audiences. Select titles are available in other territories as well, thus expanding the outreach of the retrospective, so please check on the film’s page if it’s available in your country.

You can rent them to watch for 72 hours, or purchase these titles to watch at any time in the future.

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)
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Do Not Lean Out the Window
Nae Caranfil. 1993, Romania/ France, 104 min
If any film can be said to bridge the gap between Romanian cinema prior to 1989 and today, it’s Nae Caranfil’s Don’t Lean Out the Window, a wry look at the final years of communism. The film follows the stories of two young men and a woman – humorously labeled The Student, The Actor and The Soldier – and then intertwines them, charting their journeys in a system that’s collapsing around them. In the course of the film, the three switch roles, the actor becoming a soldier of sorts while the student learns the value of acting. Unlike many other Romanian films of the era, Don’t Lean Out the Window refused to engage in the polemic that emerged with the fall of communism. Its protagonists are nuanced, complex characters, who’ve learned to survive and even thrive in an environment that often bred hypocrisy in even the simplest of social exchanges.
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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.
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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.
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Niki and Flo
Lucian Pintilie. 2003, Romania/France, 96 min
A very black comedy, Niki and Flo is about ill-suited neighbors united by marriage. Angela and her husband have decided to leave Romania for a better life in the United States. Niki, Angela's father, a former colonel in the Romanian army, is torn between his wish to see his daughter happy and his desire to have her remain nearby. Meanwhile Flo, the father of Angela’s husband and a domestic tyrant of sorts, slowly exerts his control over Niki. The screenplay was written by Cristi Puiu and Răzvan Rădulescu, who collaborated on Stuff and Dough and The Death of Mr. Lăzărescu. “A mordant almost-comedy that represents a bridge — and also a battle — between the old Romania and the new [...] its observant naturalism infused with a delicate, almost coy sense of the absurd" – A.O. Scott, The New York Times
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The Great Communist Bank Robbery
Alexandru Solomon. 2004, Romania/France, 75 min
An unusual robbery at the Romanian National Bank in 1959 triggered a massive police search, and an even more unusual outcome. When the alleged burglars were caught and arrested, they reenacted their crime for a TV movie film in which they played themselves. Although evidence suggests the criminals believed they would be spared the death sentence by appearing in the film, the reality was different. Described by director Alexandru Solomon as a “political detective story,” this documentary investigates both a historical mystery and the transformation of history into film.
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The Way I Spent the End of the World
Cătălin Mitulescu. 2006, Romania, 101 min
Bucharest 1989: the last year of Ceauşescu’s dictatorship. Eva lives with her parents and her seven-year-old brother Lalalilu. She is 17 years old, very attractive and caught up in the turmoil of falling in love for the first time while struggling to come of age. Eva has a secret dream she shares only with her brother: escaping from Romania and traveling the world. Along with his best friends from school, Lalalilu devises a plan to kill the dictator so that Eva can stay and live in a free country. The Way I Spent the End of the World opened in Cannes 2006, in the Un Certain Regard section, with Dorotheea Petre winning the Special Jury Award for Best Actress.
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Crulic – the Path to Beyond
Anca Damian. 2011, Romania/Poland, 73 min
This chilling documentary is “narrated” by Claudiu Crulic, a young Romanian in Poland who was arrested for a crime he didn’t commit, only to become a pawn in a Kafkaesque miscarriage of justice that resulted in his death from a hunger strike. Combining innovative hand-drawn, cutout and collage animation techniques, director Anca Damian crafts a devastating portrait of a man who stood up to an uncaring bureaucracy – and paid the ultimate price
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Domestic
Adrian Sitaru. 2012, Romania/Germany, 85 min
There’s a tender and humorous touch to this light collection of tales about people who eat the animals they love, and the animals that love people unconditionally. A rabbit, a cat, a dog, a hen, and a pigeon share screen time with a wonderful ensemble of actors playing the residents of an apartment building, revealing the very small distance that separates humans from animals. Despite a certain cruelty or disdain for the creatures in question, the eventual love one finds in an animal companion is wonderful to witness in Adrian Sitaru’s masterfully written and choreographed film.
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Of Snails and Men
Tudor Giurgiu. 2012, Romania/France, 100 min
A group of desperate workers come up with the unusual idea of donating sperm in order to save their car factory from bankruptcy and, consequently, from being privatized. The official line is that French investors plan to take over the plant and convert it into a snail cannery. But the stark truth is that they will just sell off the heavy machinery and disappear. This Full Monty-like bittersweet comedy is based on a true story from Romania in the 1990s, fresh from overthrowing Ceauşescu’s regime, when Romanians thought that anything was possible.

Director Tudor Giurgiu and actor Andi Vasluianu in person (Film Forum, Nov 23, 2019)
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Aferim!
Radu Jude. 2015, Romania/Bulgaria /Czech Republic, 105 min
“Shot in richly toned, wide-screen black and white, Aferim! looks like an elegant exercise in period playacting. But it casts a fierce, revisionist eye on the past, finding the cruelty and prejudice that lie beneath the pageantry.” - The New York Times. Radu Jude’s international breakthrough is a picaresque odyssey through 19th-century Romania, which tackles one of the most shameful episodes in the country’s history: the enslavement of the Roma people. As a bounty hunter and his son scour the mountains for a fugitive slave, they are thrown into a series of encounters by turns scathingly funny or utterly horrifying. Stunningly shot in glimmering, widescreen black and white, Aferim! plays like a classic western spring-loaded with cutting social commentary.
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Pororoca
Constantin Popescu. 2017, Romania/France, 152 min
“This is muscular hard-art fare that… could propel Popescu into the upper ranks of his country’s auteurs.” - Variety It is every loving parent’s worst nightmare: the devastating disappearance of a beloved child, and then their desperate struggle to stay sane while trying to save their marriage. The long scene in which the little girl goes missing in a park full of people is a movie in itself, masterfully staged by Constantin Popescu (Tales from the Golden Age), and challenges us to pinpoint the exact moment when everything goes wrong. It makes for intense viewing that is only more visceral thanks to Bogdan Dumitrache’s raw performance playing the father consumed with obsession and guilt.

Director Constantin Popescu in person
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Luxury Hotel
Dan Pița. 1992, Romania/France, 107 min
An ambitious young manager attempts to refresh the stale ambiance of a restaurant inside a luxury hotel, only to find his initiatives questioned by the boss of the establishment. Punished for his daring, he is downgraded from the higher floors where the privileged live to the very basement of the Kafkaesque building and has to face treachery and deceit that prevent him from leading a normal life. A Silver Lion winner at the 1992 Venice Festival, this visual feast is a curious allegory about living in a totalitarian regime, in which the main character is Ceaușescu’s pharaonic palace and the heaviest building in the world, ironically called The People’s House. "Highly recommended for fans of dystopian social satire.” - J.B. Spins
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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.
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BAMPFA Special: The Paper Will Be Blue
Radu Muntean. 2006, Romania, 95 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
NOW STREAMING

Rent