Făniţă returns to his village from the big city only to see his dreams of private entrepreneurship stifled by family and friends enlisted in the local cooperative. Even Liorica, his long-time crush, seems to be dedicated to the cause, much to his chagrin. One by one, his attempts at private business fail – either the eggs culled hatch on the way to selling them, the donuts he bakes are inedible, or his crops end up drowning in a flood of torrential rain. All the while, Liorica is there to prop him up and show him the alternative of the cooperative.
Produced at the tail-end of the national collectivization in Romania, Midsummer Day's Smile is a propaganda film with the clear and transparent direction of extoling the Communist vision that re-appropriated land, farms and animals, and tore apart families in the process. The film’s successful counterpoint of jubilant energy from its protagonists and the rose-tinted cinematography, nevertheless delivers an effective and infectious comedy debut.
Midsummer Day's Smile is part of Negotiating History @ Cinéma Galeries.
Subtitles: FR - EN
Directed by: Geo Saizescu