ȚARA MOARTĂ THE DEAD NATION
In Radu Jude’s first foray into the documentary film genre the Romanian director dares to conduct an experiment: “Fragments of Parallel Lives”, as the film is subtitled, documents the period from 1937 to 1946 in Romania. The film shows striking, detailed and often beautiful portraits of simple members of the rural population, captured by “Fotostudio Splendid” in the country’s southeast region. Parallel to these projections one hears diary entries from the Jewish Bucharest resident and doctor Emil Dorian, read aloud by Radu Jude himself. In between them, excerpts from radio broadcasts and nationalistic songs from the era allow one to begin to fathom the anti-Semitism that Dorian experiences first hand and through the reports of eyewitnesses. The linking of these elements allows the true horror to become palpable, as the viewer is repeatedly given time for the material, both heard and seen, to resonate. As for instance in the midst of the euphoria of war where suddenly family portraits are populated by children giving the “Roman salute”. Or when the screen remains black during the most unimaginably dark passages.
Born in 1977, Radu Jude worked as an assistant director after graduation. He directed award-winning short films and more than 150 commercials before directing his first feature film THE HAPPIEST GIRL IN THE WORLD in 2009. His subsequent works resonated with prestigious juries in Cannes, Locarno and Berlin, among them AFERIM! from 2015. In the following year the Romanian made his debut as a theatre director, staging plays based on works by Ingmar Bergman as well as Rainer-Werner Fassbinder.
2009 // CEA MAI FERICITÃ FATÃ DIN LUME / THE HAPPIEST GIRL IN THE WORLD 2015 // AFERIM! 2016 // INIMI CICATRIZATE / SCARRED HEARTS 2017 // TARA MOARTA / THE DEAD NATION (doc)