Quality cinema will be celebrated at Romanian film festival

Israel will be holding a Romanian film festival in cinematheques around the country for the next week.

 MARIUS BARNA’S ‘Nostalgia for Dictatorship.’ (photo credit: ROMANIAN CULTURAL INSTITUTE)
MARIUS BARNA’S ‘Nostalgia for Dictatorship.’

Romania has long been a quality player in the world of international cinema and the 2022 edition of the Romanian Film Festival in Israel, which opens on May 9 and runs until May 19 at the cinematheques in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, Herzliya, Holon, Rosh Pina and Sderot, features exciting new movies.

This year’s program should be especially rich because it consists of the best films of the past two-and-a-half years, many of which had their releases delayed due to the pandemic.

The Romanian ambassador, Mr. Radu Ioanid, will make a short introduction before the opening-night film, 5 Minutes Too Late, at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque. Directed by veteran filmmaker Dan Chisu, it tells a fact-based drama into an investigation of a screening of an LGBT film where right-wing protesters got into a confrontation with the audience members. The police look into whether the police refrained from intervening due to homophobia.

Marius Barna’s Nostalgia for Dictatorship is a documentary that takes a look at the curious phenomenon of how many Romanians look back with rose-colored glasses on the Ceausescu dictatorship. It is apparently a strange nostalgia and one that also affects other countries in the former Soviet Union.

Maren Crisan’s The Berliner (aka The Campaign) tells the story of a politician running for the EU presidency who teams up with a tractor driver during his campaign in a small Romanian town. It’s a political satire that raises some incisive questions.

Jerusalem Cinematheque unveils renovated auditorium  (credit: Courtesy)Jerusalem Cinematheque unveils renovated auditorium (credit: Courtesy)

Mihai Sofronea’s The Windseeker is about a man who learns he is dying and takes refuge in a remote village, where he learns to live a simpler life. But when he falls in love with a woman there, he must decide whether to tell her he does not have long to live.

Horatiu Malaele’s Luca tells the story of a man who fled Romania during the years of dictatorship to live in the US and works as a taxi driver while dreaming of becoming an actor and gets embroiled in crime.

Anca Damian’s Marona’s Fantastic Tale is an animated film that looks at the world through the life of a dog and all her owners.

The festival is sponsored by the Romanian Cultural Institute in Tel Aviv and its director, Dr. Martin Salomon, said, ”The Romanian Film Festival in Israel is one of the main projects in terms of public diplomacy of the Romanian Institute of Cultural Tel Aviv. The success of the new wave in Romanian cinema has become a well-known fact and at the same time, the interest of the Israeli public in cinema, in general, and Romanian cinema, in particular, is constantly growing.”

Iris Lekner, the artistic director of the festival, said, ”Romanian cinema is a brave cinema that continues to be a mouthpiece for citizens’ feelings, the issues that concern them and the way they choose to treat their lives – whether in all seriousness, humor or satire.”

For further information, visit the websites of the individual cinematheques.