In Room 35mm
16:30: Incursion into Romanian documentary cinema
We live in a time defined by an ever-expanding interest in archives, whether document-based or audio-visual, regarded as collective memory banks ready to enchant and astonish us. Since 2013, Adina Bradeanu has been involved as a curator in a digitization and outreach project (VINTAGE SAHIA) developed in collaboration with a film festival in Bucharest (One World Romania). The project was designed to open up to contemporary audiences the forgotten archive of a documentary film studio (Alexandru Sahia) whose ambivalent legacy in the collective memory is inextricably linked to Romania’s former communist regime. Six years, five DVDs, and around a hundred public screenings later, she looks back at what it took to be a documentarist working in one of the film studios of the former communist Eastern Europe, and reflects on how today’s repurposing of the material produced by these film-makers resonates with people’s experiences of the past, brings to the surface unknown or forgotten facets of history, and makes room for alternative types of historical imagination.
18:00 Screenings of documentary films
STREMT 89 (2012) by Anda Puşcaş, Dragoş Dulea: In 1989, on the streets of the big cities of Romania the anti-communist revolution took place, while people all over the country were waiting excited but reserved that something would change. In Stremt, the little village of hunters, the news arrived very hard. So hard that only after they had seen on TV Ceausescu’s run, people decided to start their own revolution. Every people had a gun and a theory but the most important thing was that everybody had a basement full of alcohol. So, in a very short time each neighbor was a terrorist. 22 years later, the documentary fallows the story of these people: what they did, what they think they should have done and how much better they were if they had done the things different.
TIMEBOX (2018) by Nora Agapi: In a strange but still cozy apartment, one daughter is filming her father, a documentary filmmaker himself. Starting as a love letter to her father and to his rich personal archive film footage, the film will turn into an unexpected drama, when a public officer is knocking at their door.
Adina Bradeanu is a researcher with an interdisciplinary background in modern languages and literatures, cinema, and political studies. She is Subject Consultant for Romanian Studies at the Taylor Institution Library (Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford) and Research Associate at the Faculty of Linguistics, Philology, and Phonetics at the University of Oxford, working as part of an archive-based project which combines linguistic research and community-sourcing. Previously, she worked in the audio-visual archive of an ethnography museum (National Museum of the Romanian Peasant, Bucharest) and for Westminster University (London), where she earned her PhD in Film Studies for her research on the professional culture of the A. Sahia documentary studio. She co-programmed the One World Romania Documentary and Human Rights Festival (Bucharest) between 2012 and 2018.