Romanian film review – The White Nights of Romanian Films: Sleepless in Cluj and Bucharest

Like its current event, the Romanian Film Promotion seems to have had a lot of white nights. They sure keep themselves busy, with the management of the Transilvania International Film Festival (TIFF) and its many new regional editions, the Gopo Awards, the representation of Romanian films at international festivals and, generally and obviously, the promotion of Romanian features, according to its fourth edition, Noaptea albă a filmului românesc/The White Nights of Romanian Films is exactly what it sounds like: a long night of Romanian productions, both long and short, classic and new. The event takes place in Bucharest and Cluj on September 20 and it’s definitely worth a look.

There are some milestones which are a must-see: Stere Gulea’s seminal literary adaptation Moromeții/The Moromete Family and Nae Caranfil’s hilarious debut, È pericoloso sporgersi/Sundays on Leave. Caranfil is present with two films; the lavish Restul e tăcere/The Rest is Silence is showing at J’ai Bistrot. There’s also a film from 1966 starring the beloved singer/actress Margareta Pâslaru, Un film cu o fată fermecătoare, which, to be honest, I’ve never heard of, but she is definitely a charming performer, so this might also be a nice trip down memory lane for her fans.

The more recent entries are no less impressive, including the multi-awarded Poziția copilului/The Child’s Pose and the newest releases Sunt o babă comunistă and Love Building. The Bucharest café Dianei 4 hosts a strong documentary section, with the poignant Aici… adică acolo/Here… I Mean There, Turn Off the Lights, and 8 martie/The 8th of March. The current turmoil in Romania has not been left unmentioned: the Victoria cinema in Cluj is screening a German documentary on Roșia Montană, Roșia Montană, un loc la marginea prăpastiei/Roșia Montană, Town on the Brink.

There’s also a solid short film section, of course, and you should not miss Claudiu and the Fish, În acvariu/ In the Fishbowl, Pastila fericirii/The Pill of Happiness and especially O umbră de nor/Shadow of a Cloud.

And there is a proper premiere, the long-feature debut of Bogdan Mustață, who made ones of the most disturbing and technically brilliant Romanian shorts, O zi bună de plajă/A Good Day for a Swim. Lupu tells the story of a lonely boy, his imaginary world, and the girl he tries to make part of it. I am very excited.

So if you had any plans for Friday, or Saturday, for that matter, drop them all and get your strong dose of Romanian cinema. There’s seldom a better opportunity to do so and, to make it even more attractive, the entrance is free to all venues except CinemaPro in Bucharest. Check out the official website and flyer for all locations and films.

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